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The Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced today this winter’s Becoming an Outdoors Woman weekend program set for Feb. 25-27, 2022 in Marquette County has been canceled because of a surge in Michigan coronavirus cases.

This winter was to mark the 21st annual winter BOW gathering for women, 18 and older, who are seeking an opportunity to improve their outdoor skills in a relaxed, noncompetitive atmosphere.

“Regretfully, we have decided to cancel the very popular winter BOW weekend we had planned for February in Big Bay,” said Michelle Zellar, BOW program coordinator. “We had reached our maximum registration and still had a waiting list of more than four dozen potential participants.”

Health experts predict the current surge in coronavirus cases statewide is not anticipated to subside until mid-March. The health and safety of participants, instructors and volunteers is the DNR BOW program’s top priority.

“We don’t feel that we can responsibly house and feed participants in close quarters with this latest coronavirus rise in cases,” said John Pepin, co-administrator of the BOW program in the DNR’s Executive Division. “Previously scheduled, upcoming Beyond BOW events – held outdoors with no overnight lodging and smaller numbers of participants – are still on schedule, including a sunrise snowshoe hike, do-it-yourself trail snacks and a May spring turkey hunt.

“Meanwhile, we are determining dates and a location for the next BOW weekend gathering, expected to take place in late summer or early autumn.”