I’ve been a member of MBH since I moved back to Michigan and got serious about bowhunting. Although in the past I’ve been more active in other organizations, I’ve always paid my dues, bought some logo gear from time to time, and attended events as convenient.
Last fall I went on a Wyoming hunt with the current president of the organization and we had a few days in camp to talk as we both tagged out on the first day of the hunt. I always knew that this organization was fighting on my behalf for my rights as a bowhunter, but I didn’t know everything they did. After being briefed on everything that would be considered “current business”, I got a quick overview of the accomplishments from my six years of membership as well as the major victories across the entire 70 year life of the organization.
I no longer take for granted our long archery seasons, the existence of our combo-tag, or our right to legally pursue game on public land throughout the state. I am also no longer oblivious to all of the people who want to erode or completely dispose of these things I love. I decided I wanted to make a statement and apply for a life membership to show my dedicated support of this organization.
The number of hunters using bows in Michigan has hovered around 300,000 people for a long time. I would assume the membership in MBH would be at least a large minority, but it’s not even close. I have taken to asking every bowhunter I meet if they are a member of MBH, and not a single one I’ve met outside of MBH, MTB, or MLA has been. I’m just going to guess that I know 30 bowhunters from my circle of friends via my job, I am the only member. Most of them will spend $1,000-$2,000 per year on gear and tags, but they lack either the understanding or appreciation to the point of not spending $25 to keep people fighting for our rights in Lansing.
I am proud that I was accepted as a life member yesterday at the annual membership meeting, many of the people I admire most are counted in those ranks. While in the meeting I contacted the Membership Secretary and requested to be put on electronic newsletter only so the cost of print and mailing won’t drain the coffers. That’s a step I suggest to anyone holding an organizational life membership, that or making additional donations to offset the ongoing expense.
If you hunt with a bow in Michigan, go join today.