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Black River (Van Buren Co.) in Michigan

Trip Overview

While kayaking the Middle Branch of the Black River in Michigan we found ourselves next to the South Haven Rod & Gun Club. Signs were posted on the bank with warnings about potential gunfire but we were not going up on the bank anyway. As we proceeded down the river, rounds of ammo were whizzing over our heads and ricocheting all over the place even hitting less than 3 feet in front of our kayaks.

We found cover behind a log that we needed to portage and called 911 three times. We were yelling like crazy for them to cease fire but no luck. A 911 operator returned a call and informed us where we were and the club had every right to be there. He suggested we paddle as fast as possible to get past their property. He asked me if we thought they were shooting at us and I said "I don't tell me. We have bullets flying all around and we were not sure if we were going to get hit." We did get past the property safely.

Fear had become anger and felt like no one really cared if the rounds were near us or not. We have contacted different agencies about this and have not heard back as to a resolution. While the waterway is public and one should have a right to safe passage, you may want to consider a helmet and flak jacket on your trip...


Put in at the bridge on County Road 384

  • Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip