Evart area man has passion for archery

EVART -- Harold Hayter lives in the rural area between Barryton and Evart. But he doesn’t have to go very far to enjoy his passion for hunting and fishing.

Hayter lives in the Evart school district in Osceola County but isn’t too far from Barryton.

He has owned the property since 1979 and built the house later and moved from

Colorado and lived there ever since. He worked at Evart, Lake City and in other capacities. He worked at Chippewa Plastics in Reed City and that’s where he retired from a couple of years ago.

Hayter has been a member of the Barryton Conservation Club since 1986. He’s a board member and certified instructor for archery.

“We teach kids archery Tuesday nights at 6 p.m. and everything is free. We furnish the bows here and don’t charge anything,” he said.

It’s a year-round activity.

“We take off a month in July, take the .22s and teach them gun safety,” Hayter said. “We have other events going on too. We do a lot of archery there. They do some trap shooting Friday night. We get more through winter, in the summer they have other things going. It’s open to the general public but we like to teach the kids. We have everything from entry level right on up. Everything we teach is a recurve. I do some work with a compound.”

Hayter is a fisherman but admits that he’s partial toward bow hunting.

“I will salmon fish a lot,” he said. “I will go up to the Manistee River and over to Manistee. I go to Frankfort. I do a lot of walleye fishing too in Lake Erie and Saginaw Bay. I hit the local lakes. Big Lake is three miles over and we go  to Mecosta County to Merrill and Gorrel Lake and we go to the Martiny Lake Flooding.”

Fishing is “about average. They’re doing OK,” Hayter said. “Bluegills and perch are doing good. The bass, I take the kids a lot. I have eight granddaughters and one grandson from my daughter and five of them, I like to get them into the outdoors as much as I can. I instruct them into archery also. They’re on this side of Evart.”

One granddaughter, Arianna Eckert, is a national archery champion,

To say Harold Hayter is an active bow hunter is an understatement.

“There’s plenty of deer around, deer and turkeys,”he said, adding that the biggest whitetail deer he’s shot locally is a 10-pointer.”In this area, it’s down a littlle bit, but I would say they’re doing all right. They have their up years and their down years.”

Hayter does some rifle hunting. As a certified hunter safety instructor, he enjoys taking his grandchildren hunting.

“The oldest grand daughter has taken two with a bow and arrow and has shot only two arrows in her hunting career,” Hayter said. “She’s shooting 100 percent right now.”

Hayter recalls that his grandfather was a trapper and hunter and his dad likewise enjoyed hunting.

“I kind of got introduced to it that way,” he said.

Hayter is a native of the Eaton Rapids area. His wife Shirley formerly hunted with him in the past.

“I used to live in Colorado and we hunt quite a bit,” he said. “The elk that I shot was here in Michigan by Atlanta in 1995.  I applied for 10 years before I got it. It’s great. The DNR has a one-day seminar prior to the hunt. You have be there to get your certificate so you can hunt. They tell you the dos and don’ts.

I was fortunate. I went on some private proerty with permission at a hunting club. They had 13,000 acres. It borders the Pigeon River National Forest.”

Hayter had the late elk hunt in December in the snow.  In the future, Hayter wouldn’t mind a chance to hunt and fish in Alaska.

“I’d love to go to Canada more,” he said. “I don’t get around as good as I used to. I have steel rods in my back and my knees are about due for replacement. I still get out. I get as excited helping the kids as I do hunting myself.”