Second annual Michigan youth hunter weekend successful


Mar 11, 2001
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Young hunters are veterans when it comes to bagging bucks.

Sunday, September 23, 2001


Davison Twp. - Some deer hunters wait years or even decades to get their first buck or doe. Mike McLain of Lapeer County and Andrew LeGalley of Columbiaville are already seasoned pros at 15.

Each teen bagged his second buck Saturday, during the second annual statewide youth hunters weekend, designed to encourage more youths to take up hunting.

Mike's three-pointer and Andrew's 10-point buck were among the deer displayed Saturday night at the Davison Optimist Club Youth Deer Pole. By 9 p.m., seven deer hung from the pole at Evan's Equipment Co.

"It's a lot to do with luck, just being in the right place at the right time," said Mike, who got his 102-pound buck in Oregon Township.

He hunts with his father, James McLain.

"It's a bonding thing," Mike said. "When you sit out there, you do a lot of talking because you can get pretty bored. That's where I've heard the best stories about my dad's growing up."

Andrew's grandfather, Al Atkins of Davison, watched as the teen shot his 155-pound buck in Mecosta County.

"How good a shot is he? Two shots, two bucks, in two years. What does that tell you?" Atkins said, grinning.

Said Andrew: "The best part of hunting is spending time with my grandpa. I couldn't have done it without him."

The event, which featured prizes for each young hunter bringing in a buck or doe, was the brainchild of Dan Flowers, an avid hunter and vice-president of the Davison Optimists.

"That's the reason right there that I'm doing this," Flowers said, pointing to his year-old son, Andy. "I've grown up enjoying the outdoors and want to support the things that are making sure it'll still be here for my kids."

This year's hunt was expanded to include younger hunters. Youths ages 14-16 were allowed to hunt with firearms as in last year's hunt. This year, 12- and 13-year-olds were eligible - to bowhunt only.

The hunt also widened in scope, allowing youths to hunt on public as well as private land.

Last year's hunt attracted nearly 14,000 young hunters, who took an estimated 5,000 deer, the state Department of Natural Resources found. Officials expect at least a 25 percent increase this year with the rule changes.

"What I like about hunting is it's a challenge. It takes a lot of stamina to sit out there in the cold for hours, and not shake and miss," Mike McLain said. "Plus it's good eating."

Elizabeth Shaw can be reached at (810) 766-6311 or

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