ALLENDALE, Mich.--Wednesday marks the start of bow hunting season. It’s all about the deer this time of year, and the most avid hunters are amped up and ready to go, but some are sharpening their skills before they hit the woods.
If you're heading out into the wilderness there are a few things you should know regarding changes in the hunting licenses.
One of the most significant changes for deer hunters this year is the base license that is now required. The base license provides funding for conservation and habitat work on private and public land. It also supports the work of the DNR conservation officers to ensure safe and legal hunting practices are followed. Some hunters say the price increase won't keep them from doing what they love.
Gary Poliski, a hunter for 40 years, and co-owner of Grand Valley Sporting Goods, says the permit doesn’t bother him too much.
“It’s a little bit more expensive if you only deer hunt, but if you deer hunt, and fish, and small game hunt, and that type of a thing, it’s not that much more, just a couple bucks. But if all you do is deer hunt you will probably pay $20 more this year,” he said.
Poliski has some more advice for hunters this season. He says practicing before you go out is crucial.
“If you are going to shoot an arrow at a deer you got to be really good at it,” he said.
20-year-old Cindy Vandermark takes advice like that seriously, and was practicing her skills today in the Archery Lanes of Grand Valley Sporting Goods. Vandermark has been hunting since she was 4-years-old.
“[What] I am working on is just being able to hold the bow for a long time. I am a girl so it is a little harder for me to hold my bow back than the guys,” she said.
Poliski says that because of women like Vandermark the sport is evolving.
“The latest increase in our market is young ladies. 30 percent of the bows we sell is to young ladies. The landscape has changed,” he said.