DNR News: ‘Jugged’ hare, Tuskegee Airmen artifacts, wildlife jobs and safety certificates

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News Digest - Week of Feb. 15, 2021


Wondering what the founding fathers ate? Check out the historic small game recipe below.

Some of this week's stories may reflect the impact of COVID-19 and how the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has adapted to meet customers' needs and protect public health and safety. We will continue to share news and information about the best ways to enjoy our state's natural and cultural resources.

Follow our COVID-19 response page for FAQs and updates on access to facilities and programs. For public health guidelines and news, visit Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

Here's a look at some of this week's stories from the Department of Natural Resources:

See other news releases, Showcasing the DNR stories, photos and other resources at Michigan.gov/DNRPressRoom.

PHOTO FOLDER: Larger, higher-res versions of the images used below, and additional ones, are available in this folder.

Eat like it’s 1742

hare & pheasant

Have you ever wanted to eat like a founding father? Small game was common in the diet of early European colonists in North America and likely was something these early settlers were quite familiar with. A common recipe of the time was “jugged hare.” Jugging referred to the way the meat was cooked: sealed in a jug or pot that was placed in a pot of simmering water, usually for a long time – basically a low-tech crock pot!

So how would such a meal have been prepared? Most likely with some bacon, butter and seasonal spices. Adding a little fat helped with the cooking of these lean meats and fresh sprigs of spices like thyme, parsley, marjoram and rosemary added flavor. Want to make this tasty fare? Here’s a jugged hare recipe from the 1700s you can re-create in a 21st-century kitchen with rabbit, snowshoe hare or squirrel. If you don’t have a shilling coin, don't worry; a quarter is about the same size.

Cut a Hare in pieces, but do not wash it; season it with half an onion shred very fine, a sprig of thyme, and a little parsley all shred, and beaten pepper and salt, as much as will lie on a shilling, half a nutmeg, and a little lemon-peel; strew all these over your hare, and slice half a pound of bacon into thin slices; then put your hare into a jug, a layer of hare, and the slices of bacon on it; so do till all is in the jug; stop the jug close that not any steam can go out; then put it in a pot of cold water, lay a tile on the top, and let it boil three hours; take the jug out of the kettle, and put half a pound of butter in it, and shake it together till the butter is melted; then pour it in your dish. Garnish with lemon. [from “The Compleat Housewife” by Eliza Smith, circa 1742].

What do you think? Does it take you back in time? Use your base hunting license this winter and try your hand at making jugged hare, rabbit or squirrel. We'd love to see your results! Share with us at Facebook.com/MichiganDNR.

Looking to learn more about small game hunting? Visit Michigan.gov/SmallGame or contact the DNR Wildlife Division at 517-284-9453.

Traveling soon? Don't forget your recreation safety certificate

jet ski

Taking an out-of-state hunting trip? Planning to rent a personal watercraft (such as a Jet Ski) on spring break? Don’t forget to take along a copy of your Michigan safety certificate, demonstrating your completion of an appropriate safety program.

Many states require this documentation before you can rent equipment or participate in a season. Misplaced your certificate? Don’t worry. If you’ve previously completed a Michigan hunter, bow, marine, ORV, snowmobile or trapper education course, you can request a duplicate safety certificate.

Requests can take seven to 10 business days to process and mail. These certificates cannot be emailed or faxed, and the DNR cannot provide certificate numbers over the phone. Recreation safety education courses are available to complete online from the comfort of your home and at your own pace at Michigan.gov/RecreationalSafety.

Questions? Contact the DNR Recreational Safety Section.

Join the DNR wildlife team this summer

duck release

If you or someone you know is seeking valuable experience working in wildlife conservation – or just looking for an interesting job that gets you outdoors – consider applying for one of the 55 open summer positions with the DNR Wildlife Division.

“These positions are a great opportunity for college students, those looking to re-enter the workforce and seniors or retirees who want to be involved in the outdoors,” said Jennifer Schafer, DNR Wildlife Division human resources liaison.

The division regularly hires additional staff to work at DNR state field offices, customer service centers and state game areas. Seasonal staff helps in several areas, such as:

  • Assisting with wildlife habitat maintenance and improvement, which may include cutting clearings and adjusting water levels.
  • Mowing, landscaping and facility maintenance.
  • Handling tasks related to wildlife surveys, nuisance animal control and equipment operation and maintenance.

Learn more about these positions – and other openings throughout the department – at Michigan.gov/DNRJobs; scroll to the seasonal and temporary positions section.

Questions? Contact Jennifer Schafer at 517-284-6163.

Dive into the story of Tuskegee airmen in Michigan


On April 11, 1944, Tuskegee Airman Lt. Frank H. Moody was killed when his Bell P-39Q Airacobra crashed in Lake Huron near Port Huron. He was one of 15 Tuskegee Airmen killed while training in Michigan during World War II.

Divers discovered Lt. Moody’s aircraft in 2014, and the National Museum of the Tuskegee Airmen in Detroit was issued a recovery permit to help DNR State Maritime Archaeologist Wayne Lusardi document, recover, conserve and exhibit the aircraft.

Watch Lusardi’s presentation on the Tuskegee Airmen in this new video (part of the DNR’s Black History Month commemoration); it covers the history of the airmen training in Michigan, the artifacts recovered from Lt. Moody’s aircraft and an in-depth look at the airmen killed while training here.

On Aug. 28, 2021, a memorial will be dedicated along the St. Clair River at Flag Plaza in Port Huron to recognize the bravery, conviction, patriotism and sacrifice of the Tuskegee Airmen who died in service to their country. Artifacts found from Lt. Moody’s aircraft currently are being conserved at the state of Michigan’s archaeological conservation facility at the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center in Alpena. The remainder of the aircraft will be recovered this summer.

For more information on projects like this and on underwater preserves, including Michigan shipwrecks, visit the Michigan History Center’s underwater preserves page.

Questions? Contact Wayne Lusardi at 989-766-3294.

ICYMI: The sea shanties of Black Great Lakes sailors

john v moran ship

Thanks to a recent viral Tik Tok cover of The Wellerman, a whole new generation is interested in these maritime work songs and discovering lyrics like:

Before the boat had hit the water,

The whale’s tail came up and caught her.

All hands to the side, harpooned and fought her,

When she dived down below.

The Great Lakes were an important trade route, and in case you missed it, Michigan has its own rich history of shanties to explore – including those sung by Black sailors, like The Ward Line. Check out these sea shanties and get a glimpse (or a listen) into the seafaring life of these hearty souls.


Michigan has some of the best fat-tire biking trails in the country, and now's a perfect time to get out and ride. Brush up on trail etiquette and find rentals and a trail near you on our fat-tire biking page.


Free Fishing Weekend may be over, but you can enjoy world-class fishing year-round. Just make sure you have a fishing license, review ice fishing basics and know the rules and regs


Want to know more about underwater preserves and marine archaeology? Check out the upcoming Underwater Salvage and Preserves Committee meeting on Feb. 24.

Enjoy responsible recreation

Stay informed, stay safe: Mask up MichiganDNR COVID-19 response