Our Programs

Backed by a rich legacy of Hunting, Family, and Conservation

SCHOOL TRIPS & EDUCATIONAL TOURS

Free educational tours

2023 - 36 schools, 2,713 students, 475 adults

2024 - 53 schools, 3,250 students, 600 adults

The Wildlife Center at Legends Ranch offers an enriching and fully sponsored educational experience with our Free School Tours program, aimed at students in the neighboring six counties. This exceptional program hosts school groups at our impressive 24,000 square-foot facility that is home to a vast array of taxidermy animals from across the globe. The Wildlife Center is a testament to the commitment to conservation education, sharing this passion with the youth in our communities.

During the tour, students are immersed in a 1-hour educational journey inside the museum, where they explore 15 interactive conservation curriculum stations. As an added education keepsake, each student receives a WLC Passport filled with conservation facts and details, sponsored by our SCI partners. 

The experience is complemented by an outdoor segment on a 1.1-mile nature trail that meanders through the beautiful Legends Ranch grounds. Here, students can appreciate the local outdoors, weaving connection with the conservation principles learned indoors. Lunchtime becomes part of the adventure as students enjoy their packed lunches around our beautiful covered fire pit.

Proudly, The Wildlife Center at Legends Ranch ensures that schools face no financial barriers to this opportunity, covering 100% of the museum fees and transportation costs. Lasting about 2 to 2.5 hours, this immersive educational program is not only free but is set against the backdrop of the center’s state-of-the-art facility and sprawling natural beauty- a truly unparalleled learning experience. If you would like your students to be a part of our program, please contact us. 

Past Schools

Baldwin MS
Baldwin Project Focus
Big Jackson Schools
Big Rapids Boy Scouts
Big Rapids Crossroads Academy
Big Rapids MS
Calvary Christian Schools
Central Montcalm MS
David C. Outwin MS
Farwell MS

Farwell Sparks SS
Ferry & Voyagers Elementary GH
Fremont Christian
Fremont MS
Fruitport MS
Grant Christian School
Grant MS
Hart MS
Harvest Homeschool Kids

Hesperia Elementary
Hesperia Project Focus
Holton Ele. Project Focus
Holton MS Project Focus
Homeschool Groups of MI
Kent City MS
Lake City MS
Lakeview MS
Lighthouse Academy Eagle Village

Marion MS
Mason County Central MS
Mason County Elementary MS
Mecosta County YAC
Morley Stanwood MS
NCRESA Education & Activities
Center
Newaygo County 4H
North Muskegon Elementary

Northern Discovery Academy
Northview Field School
Oceana Christian School
Pentwater MS
Pine River MS
Ravenna MS
Reed City MS
Reed City Scouts
Shelby Elementary
St. Mary’s Catholic School BR

Tri County MS
Trinity Lutheran School
Walkerville Girl Scouts
Walkerville MS
Walkerville Project Focus
White Cloud HS Outdoor Club
White Cloud MS
White Cloud Scouts
Whitehall MS

2024 Free School Tours Educator Testimonials

“Students enjoyed the nature walk, especially the group that saw the deer, and loved the indoor presentation about animals from around the world.” 

“Very accommodating for all students and their specials needs. Extremely kind and knowledgeable staff!” – Heidi Parker NC RESA-Education and Activity Center

“The staff and facility was amazing, I would recommend this experience for anyone to see” – Travis Eastlund Lighthouse Academy Eagle Village

“A wonderful experience for our sixth grade science students.” – Heather Deighton Marion Public Schools

“The passport was a perfect souvenir and resource for them to keep! We absolutely plan to return.”

Instilling core values

The Wildlife Center’s mission is to instill core values for conservation and ethical hunting in youth and adults through education, advocacy, and leading by example.

IN-DEPTH INSTRUCTION ON HUNTING, CONSERVATION & OUR RESPONSIBILITIES

LEARN TO HUNT

The Learn to Hunt program is a hands-on experience for our youth and anyone looking to learn how to hunt. This program is geared to age classes 8-12 and 13-17, female groups, and any adult without hunting experience. Our four day course includes in-depth instruction on hunting, conservation and our responsibilities as outdoorsmen. We discuss many aspects of hunting with focus on safety, ethics and tactics, conservation, and cooking wild game.

The goals of the Learn to Hunt program include fostering a safe and comfortable educational environment that will allow students to find their passion for hunting, and giving students the tools to be selfless when it comes to conservation. We hope to provide students with the knowledge to act as an advocate for conservation and to inspire their future interactions with the outdoors.

When students are not in the field hunting or learning in the classroom, they have the opportunity to hike through the property or fish on our private lake. Students and their guests will stay in our luxurious lodge and will be paired with a private guide for their educational hunting adventure.

The Purple Heart Hunt is a special tribute to our combat wounded veterans.

purple heart hunt

honoring those that have served

purple heart hunt

The Purple Heart Hunt is a special tribute to our combat wounded veterans. Through many applicants we choose 5-8 (reliant on funding) to join us on a hunt of a lifetime at Legends Ranch. The Wildlife Center understands the importance of Veterans and their role in the outdoors. This event gives us the opportunity to change lives through experience and education for everyone involved. Veterans play a large role in leadership when they are properly informed and instilled with a passion for hunting and conservation.

This event brings veterans and civilians together for incredible camaraderie, showing what it truly means to love your brother and sister and how to come together as one for a sole purpose – supporting one another. This hunt is a small thank you to our men and women in uniform and we are humbled each and every year by the sacrifices these heroes have made for our country.

This opportunity is a dreamcome true for these children and being able to be a part of this event is an immense privilege that we do not take lightly.

Youth Challenge Hunt

experiencing hunting & fishing in a new way

youth challenge hunt

The Special Youth Challenge Hunt gives youth from all walks of life the opportunity to enter the woods, perhaps for the first time, to experience hunting and fishing in a new way. We make great efforts to remove barriers faced by these challenged youth and their families while attending this hunt. During this time dreams are realized, relationships fostered, and lives are forever changed. The hunters and their guests get to enjoy all the amenities of Legends Ranch with their own personal guide to lead them through sighting in their rifle, touring The Wildlife Center, and harvesting their deer. This opportunity is a dream come true for these children and being able to be a part of this event is an immense privilege that we do not take lightly.

The dedicated staff will take the first-time hunter and put them through an exciting day learning the basics of hunting; culminating in the shooting, harvesting and packing of a doe.

1st time hunter program

What does hunting mean to you?

1st time hunter program

The dedicated staff will take the first-time hunter and put them through an exciting day learning the basics of hunting; culminating in the shooting, harvesting and packing of a doe.
Schedule of activities Starting at noon (approximately): 

● Safety lesson at The Shooting Range at Legends Ranch

● Tour of The Wildlife Center

● Lunch/snacks provided

● Guided doe hunt

● Demonstration on the field dressing of the animal

● Instruction on butchering and packaging of the game meat

● The first-time hunter will take home their harvested meat

 

Join The Wildlife Center at Legends Ranch for your Michigan Hunter Education Field Day!

Hunter Education

EDUCATING FUTURE GENERATIONS

MICHIGAN HUNTER EDUCATION

Join The Wildlife Center at Legends Ranch for your Michigan Hunter Education Field Day! Throughout the field day, students will go through six different educational stations that we offer: tree stand safety, firearm handling, survival basics, blood trailing, legal issues, and a tour of The Wildlife Center where our guests learn the importance of hunting and conservation with this one-of-a-kind experience. We begin our day with check-in as students arrive at 9:00, followed by the legal issues portion beginning at 9:30, concluding our day around 2:30 with prizes and the students successfully completing their Michigan Hunter Education Field Day.

We are looking to increase the size of The Wildlife Center team of instructors for Michigan Hunter Education Field Days. Anyone over the age of 18 that is interested in becoming a Michigan Hunter Education instructor can join our staff for the day to become certified. With more instructors, we will be able to host more field days for students to successfully complete their Michigan Hunter Education courses.

2024 Hunter Education Field Day Dates:

  • Saturday April 13th
  • Saturday May 11th
  • Sunday August 18th
  • Saturday September 14th
  • Saturday October 12th

Featuring a 4 day, 3 Night Veterans retreat at Legends Ranch.

Veterans' retreat

Our way of saying thank you

Veterans' Retreat

August 20th – 23rd, 2024

The new Veterans’ Retreat event at Legends Ranch features a 4 day/3 night action filled weekend of outdoor adventures.  

  • Rafting down the famous Pere Marquette River
  • Fishing Tournament & kayaking on Legends’ private lakes
  • Shooting Range
  • GCC Breeding Facility Tour
  • Tour of the Wildlife Center
  • Hiking around Legends Ranch with deer viewing
  • 4 days/3 Nights, lodging & meals included.

Fly into Grand Rapids (GRR), where we will shuttle you to Legends Ranch (1.5 hr drive). 

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