BALDWIN — More than 40 new hunters can hit the woods this year as youth and some adults earned their hunter safety certification this past weekend.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources hunter safety program was hosted by the Lake County Sheriff's Office for the first time.

On Saturday, students worked their way through classwork, and on Sunday, they hit the shooting range at the Lake County Sportsman's Club, where they practiced shooting crossbows and firearms, and learned practical safety skills. Sanders Meats of Custer provided hot dogs for lunch.

"This has been a great weekend and nice weather," said Sgt. Keith Bartram, instructor. "We couldn't ask for a better turnout."

Those who passed the skills safety test were given certification. The event closed out with giveaways.

"Hunter safety went extremely well," said Lake County Sheriff Rich Martin. "There was a bigger influx of kids than we were expecting. We were able to get a bunch of donations from local businesses. This was the first time the sheriff's office offered the program from what I am aware of. We have had lots of requests for hunter safety classes, because we already host boating and off-road vehicle training."