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DNR’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program offering an archery deer hunting workshop in Washtenaw County

In a new and exciting partnership, the DNR’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program has scheduled a “Beyond BOW” archery deer hunt workshop in cooperation with the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission.

Registration for the weekend program, which is scheduled from Sept. 30-Oct. 2, is now open. The program is for women with no previous hunting experience or those who would like to expand their abilities and acquire new skills.

“We have had numerous requests to hold more BOW events in the Lower Peninsula,” said Michelle Zellar, BOW coordinator for the DNR. “This is a fantastic opportunity for at least a handful of those Lower Peninsula ladies looking for BOW activities closer to home.”

Enrollment is limited to six participants. Cost is $100 per participant. The deadline to register is Sept. 16. Lunch will be provided Friday and Saturday. Lodging and additional meals will be the responsibility of participants.

Class information and registration materials are available online at Registered participants will be required to attend a video orientation session prior to the event. This will be a rain or shine event.   

The workshop will be held at the Watkins Lake State Park Preserve in Manchester. The preserve is co-managed by the DNR and the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission. The DNR manages 717 acres in Norvell Township in Jackson County and the commission oversees 405 acres in Manchester Township, primarily through the commission’s Natural Areas Preservation Program.

Administrators of the program purchase unique natural areas to ensure their preservation for the benefit of all Washtenaw County residents, plants, animals and people. The Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission manages the program, identifying and caring for lands with special ecological, recreation and educational benefits. So far, over 9,100 acres have been preserved.

“There is no public hunting permitted typically on Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission lands, however, unique programs such as this help us with preservation efforts by reducing significant deer browse on the property, which has been a problem,” said Allison Krueger, stewardship manager for the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission.

In 2019, Washtenaw County partnered with Ducks Unlimited and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Private Lands Office to restore over 70 acres of grassland and wetlands. With a few years’ growth, the native plantings have increased across the site to produce a rich habitat for deer, birds and other wildlife.

This workshop is open to any properly licensed woman hunter, 16 years of age or older. No experience is required. Compound archery or crossbow equipment are both acceptable. Much of the equipment will be provided, but organizers also welcome participants to bring their personal archery equipment. Proper safety and hunting techniques will be taught and followed.

On Friday, participants will gain knowledge of deer biology, habitat, archery hunting techniques, hunting ethics, general archery safety, shooting, tree stand safety and hunting blind set up. They will then be paired with hunting mentors and set afield to hunt.

On Saturday, participants and mentors will meet and prepare for the afternoon hunt. Following the hunt, participants will learn how, and have the opportunity to participate in, field dressing and properly registering their harvested deer.

To attend this event, you must have a Michigan base hunting license and a deer or universal antlerless deer hunting license, which is available with an apprentice option and is purchased prior to attending the workshop.

Hunting licenses are available for purchase at any license agent or online at

Contact: Michelle Zellar (BOW), 906-293-5131, ext. 4004 or Allison Kreuger (Washtenaw County), 734-971-6337, ext. 317