For years, the Air Force has used the Great Lakes as a target range for ammunition. Now, the US Coast Guard wants to do the same. The GLRC’s Noah Ovshinsky has more:
For years, the Air Force has used the Great Lakes as a target range for ammunition.
Now, the US Coast Guard wants to do the same. The GLRC’s Noah Ovshinsky has
The Coast Guard says it’s giving the public additional time to comment on a proposal
to turn the 34 areas in the Great Lakes into permanent firearm training zones. The Air Force already uses the
lakes for live-fire exercises. The zones, locating on the water near Coast Guard stations, will be used to test machine guns, rifles and other weapons.
Jim Fenner sits on the board of the Michigan Charter Boat Association. He says the plan
raises a lot of concerns:
“We want to know how we’re gonna be informed and when these exercises would be
held and how long they would last and what happens if we’re in the area – could they compel
us to leave the area if that happens to be where the fishing is good right then.”
Fenner says about 20 percent of his favorite fishing spots lie within the proposed target zones.
Michigan DNR Director Rebecca Humphries gets some coaching on her target shooting skills from her teenage daughter, Jenny Humphries. Jenny shoots clay pigeons competitively. (Photo by Sarah Hulett)
Moms and daughters check their targets. Each participant shot five rounds with .22-caliber bolt-action rifles. Several first-time shooters hit bull's eyes. (Photo by Sarah Hulett)
Mary Chillison came to the rifle range with her daughter Nikki. Chillison says she doesn’t have much interest in hunting, but she likes shooting targets. (Photo by Sarah Hulett)
If you look at the average hunting camp, you’d see about six men for every woman. But some state officials want that to change. They think getting more women and girls into the shooting sports will help turn around declining sales of hunting licenses. And they say that will help shore up state funds that pay for conservation. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Sarah Hulett reports:
If you look at the average hunting camp, you’d see about six men for every woman. But
some state officials want that to change. They think getting more women and girls into
the shooting sports will help turn around declining sales of hunting licenses. And they
say that will help shore up state funds that pay for conservation. The Great Lakes Radio
Consortium’s Sarah Hulett reports:
“Okay, ladies… Is everybody done dry firing? All right. Safety on, actions open. The
coach will insert one round into the chamber…”
Today is the first time Abby Wood has ever shot a gun. Abby’s 13 years old, and she’s at
a mid-Michigan shooting range with about a dozen other daughters and their moms for a
day of gun safety instruction and target shooting.
Abby loads and shoots five rounds. Then she and her mom, Ann Miller, walk downrange
to check out her target.
“I got ’em all on the target, and they’re sort of in the same area. But they’re a little off.
And I got one really close to the bull’s eye, I’m kinda proud of that. (Ann:) I thought we
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources put on this mother-daughter event as a
way to get more women and girls interested in target shooting and hunting. Like many
states, Michigan is seeing a slow decline in hunting license sales – about one percent a
year. And some worry that if that trend continues, it could hurt the state’s ability to pay
for conservation programs and to keep its wild deer herd in check.
Lynn Marla coordinates a state program that puts on workshops for women to develop
their outdoor skills. She says of all the outdoor sports, hunting is the most difficult
activity to get women interested in.
“It’s basically ‘never been invited. Never been taught.’ I mean, I know a man who’s my
age and he had three daughters and a son. And he never even thought to ask his
But some states are extending invitations to women and girls who want to learn to shoot
and hunt. The Becoming an Outdoors Woman program – or BOW – started in Wisconsin
in the early 1990s. BOW is now in 43 states, seven Canadian provinces, and New
Zealand. Every year, about 20-thousand women spend a weekend hunting, fishing, and
learning other outdoor activities like paddling and orienteering.
Christine Thomas is BOW’s founder, and a professor at the University of Wisconsin. She
says it’s important to get different kinds of people interested in outdoor activities.
“Because – especially as budgets shrink, but really anytime – as people have less of a tie
to the natural resources, they are less likely to care what happens to them. So from a
standpoint of political support for fish and wildlife programs, environmental protection, I
think it’s important to get lots of people involved. And women and girls are some of
At the rifle range, Mart McClellan says she didn’t grow up around hunters, and she used
to be opposed to hunting. But she says working with people who hunt has changed her
attitude, and she’s interested in trying it.
“You know, it seems like in the past, from my perspective, it’s been such a sexist kind of
sport…that doesn’t need to be. And I think a lot of women and girls get intimidated.
Because you know you hear the stories about deer camp, it’s all the guys, and guy
bonding. So I think this will kind of combat that stereotype. And hopefully get more
women out hunting.”
This is the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ first shooting event for women
and girls. Abby Wood – the teenager who’s shooting for the first time – says she likes
target shooting – and she thinks she might want to try hunting too. And after a day on the
shooting range littered with rifle shells, she’s got some ideas about what she might want
to wear to deer camp.
“I want to make earrings out of the leftover shells…”
The federal government is getting ready to approve new types of non-toxic ammunition for shooting ducks and geese… but the government isn’t even thinking about tackling a related issue. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Lester Graham reports:
The federal government is getting ready to approve new types of non-toxic ammunition for
shooting ducks and geese… but the government isn’t even thinking about tackling a related issue.
The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Lester Graham reports:
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is in the process of approving three new types of non-toxic
shot for waterfowl hunting. Shotgun shell pellets used to be made of lead. But years of lead
pellets dropping into the wetlands found foraging waterfowl eating the lead and dying. So, lead
shot was banned in 1991. Since then, manufacturers have been looking for new shot formulations
that work well for hunters, but are non-toxic.
Nicholas Throckmorton is with the Fish and Wildlife Service and he says new kinds of shot give
hunters some options.
“Hopefully, late spring, early summer the three companies will be allowed to sell their new shot
While lead shot is banned, the government isn’t doing anything about lead bullets. Rifles still
use lead slugs. Game that is shot, but gets away is usually eaten by predators or scavengers.
Some of the animals, such as the endangered condor, have died from lead poisoning.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, this is Lester Graham.