Michigan's bear hunting seasons are almost here, with the first opening Sept. 10 in the Upper Peninsula.
The Lower Peninsula's first season starts Sept. 14 in select areas, and Sept. 16 for remaining locations below the bridge.
Bear seasons have staggered openers with various locations and hunt periods. For each of the 2017 and 2018 hunting seasons, 7,140 bear licenses were available.
On a rainy August morning, three men dressed in dark-shaded green chest waders and rain jackets slowly make their way up the chilly waters of the Rock River in Alger County.
Two of the men carry long white poles with boxed ends in one rubber-gloved hand and a fishing net in the other.
From each of the two men, a yellow electrical cord runs downstream to an equipment box in a small aluminum boat, which is being pulled up the river by the third man.
As the men wave the white poles under the stream banks and overhanging trees, large and small brook trout emerge, floating sideways or upside down in the creek.
Quickly, the fish are netted and moved to a plastic bin filled with water in the bottom of the boat. The men pull the boat to the shore and begin measuring fish and collecting information on each of them.
They work quickly to release the fish safely back into the stream.
This process is called electrofishing, performed by state fisheries biologists and technicians.
The Dowagiac Conservation Club will host a Hunter Safety Class August 23-25 with registration set for Wednesday at the clubhouse.
The course will be held at the club from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. August 23 and 24 and 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. August 25.
There is no charge for the class but students must pre-register with a birth certificate and attend all three classes to get their Hunter Safety Certification.
For more information, call Furmer, 269-646-9839.