DNR’s “Novembeard” Encourages Men to Think Health this Hunting Season

For a lot of men who hunt, growing a big, bushy beard is an annual ritual that serves as an extra measure of warmth out in the woods.

This November, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is using those beards as a way to raise awareness about men’s health, particularly surrounding issues that can arise because of hunting.

“We’re hoping to get men thinking as much about their health as they do about their facial hair,” said Maia Turek, Statewide Recreation Programmer with the DNR.

Novembeard” runs through the end of November and pits bearded male DNR employees against one another for ultimate facial hair bragging rights. Representatives from different DNR divisions will put their beards to the test in a #ReveretheBeard challenge taking place on social media. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is a sponsor of the competition.

You can vote for your favorite beard for a chance to win prizes. The best beard will be unveiled at a Dec. 4 game between the Detroit Pistons and the Milwaukee Bucks. Five dollars from each ticket sold to the game will benefit the Michigan Institute of Urology Men’s Health Foundation. The poor bearded chap who places second will have his beard shaved off at halftime.

The contest and social media campaign are a fun, lighthearted way to encourage men to add health check-ups to their hunting preparations, and to step up their physical activity long before they set out to track a deer.

“For many men, walking miles through the woods while they’re hunting is the most exercise they’ll get all year. That’s why, unfortunately, it seems like every year we hear about hunters who suffer heart attacks,” Turek said. “That doesn’t have to be the case if a little more preventive care were taken.”

You can meet some of the DNR’s bearded men and get free blood pressure and body composition screenings at an event taking place Thursday, Nov. 10 at Jay’s Sporting Goods in Gaylord. The screenings will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a limited, first-come, first-served number of cholesterol screenings also available. Jay’s is giving everyone who participates a blaze-orange Jay’s hat and men who get checked will also be entered into a drawing for a velocity crossbow.

Read our tips on how to get your heart ready for the season here. What do you do to get in shape for hunting season? Beard grooming tips and workout routines welcome in the comments!

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Photo credit: Loren Kerns

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