Hunters of all ages prepare for sixth annual Luzerne Area Predator Round-up

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LUZERNE –– Hunters will start bringing foxes, bobcats and coyotes to the pole for the sixth annual Luzerne Area Predator Round-Up Feb. 23-25, during which kids will also have the chance to participate in a squirrel hunt.

A meeting will be held Friday, Feb. 23, at 6 p.m. at the American Legion Post 162 in Luzerne, and at least one member from each team must attend to receive information on rules and regulations of the hunts. Following the meeting will be a cannon start at 7 p.m., and the hunt will end Sunday, Feb. 25, with a check-in at 3 p.m.

After check-in, awards will be announced at a catered banquet at Luzerne Hardware.

According to the event flier, the round-up offers a $1,000 cash prize for the mystery weight category, which is drawn at the banquet. Last year’s mystery weight prize was awarded to Kyle Hensley, Justin Swanson and Justin Hensley of Prescott. An award of $600 is given for a trifecta, when a hunter brings in a coyote, bobcat and fox. Other contests include most predators, first predator on the pole, heaviest predator, farthest traveled, youngest hunter and oldest hunter. Hunters will receive $25 for each predator they bring to the pole. There will also be additional prizes such as farthest traveled to participate, successful family teams and more.

Teams may include up to three people and the registration fee is $40 per person until Feb. 16 at 5 p.m. and will be $50 per person after that time. Youth registration for those 17 years old or younger is $20 per person, but they must sign up with a licensed and registered adult.

Marlene Kaminski, one of the event organizers, said people come from all over the state of Michigan, and sometimes farther than that, to participate in the hunt.

“On average, we probably get 80 or 90 every year,” Kaminski said. “We’ve had as many as 100. It depends on the weather. Last year was really weird weather so everybody mostly just had fun.”

Despite the weather, Kaminski said people always come out and have a good time.

“There’s a lot going on,” Kaminski said. “We also have a one-day youth squirrel hunt. For the kids, it’s only $10 to get in and we pay them $5 for every squirrel they bring in. There is a five-squirrel limit and that will include red squirrels and chipmunks. We want kids to be able to get to their limit. For every squirrel they get, they also get an entry into the drawing for the pellet gun.”

The one-day youth hunt will take place Feb. 24 and entries are due at 5 p.m. to be entered into the drawing. Since there is a limit of five squirrels and chipmunks, each person has a chance at $25 total and five entries for the pellet gun. According to the group Facebook page, if a youth aged 15 or younger enters the Predator Round-Up they can register for the squirrel hunt at no charge.

She said the round-up was so fun and she is looking forward to being a part of it again. She said the event is intended to give back to the community and give people something fun to do in February when there is not much going on.

“We make it fun,” she said. “We give back all the registration money you pay to get registered as a hunter and we try to give all that back in prizes, and we raise funds from selling T-shirts and raffle tickets for our guns.”

Merchandise featuring the 2018 Predator Round-Up is available for sale at Luzerne Hardware, including hoodies, crew neck sweatshirts, long-sleeve T-shirts and regular T-shirts.

Raffle tickets will be sold before and during the event for a chance to win a Savage .30-06 rifle, which will be given away during the rules meeting, and a custom AR-style .223, which will be given away at the banquet. Raffle tickets are $5 each or five for $20 and can be purchased at Luzerne Hardware and the Luzerne IGA Express.

Applications for the round-up and additional answers to questions can be received by emailing luzernepredatorhunt@hotmail.com or visiting the Luzerne Area Predator Round-Up Facebook page. Applications can also be picked up at Bear Paw Cabins, Luzerne IGA Express, Mio Saloon or Luzerne Hardware.

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