|Spots still open for Saturday’s youth mentor hunt at Champion|
|Written by Wauneta Breeze|
|Thursday, 16 October 2014 00:00|
Volunteers still needed
The Southwestern Nebraska Pheasants Forever Chapter will host its 13th annual youth mentor hunt this Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
This unique hunting mentor program provides youths with the opportunity to hunt and the ability to participate in a mentored, upland hunting training session.
The mentors play a vital role in this program, said Heather Francis, wildlife biologist and a Pheasants Forever member.
The program pairs one mentor with one youth for the duration of the day. The goal of the program is for mentors to share some of their personal experiences and knowledge. Another important component of this program is the ability to be outside “and the opportunity to participate in hands-on learning activities such as shooting instruction, trapshooting and bird cleaning,” Francis added.
Youths involved in this program have to have successfully completed an approved Hunter Safety Education program before participating.
Part of the focus of this program is to provide girls and boys who have a limited opportunity to hunt and are eager to learn about hunting and the outdoors.
“The youths who participate in the youth mentor hunt program come away with many memories of a successful and fun day,” she said.
Volunteers are the backbone of this program and are needed in every aspect of this program. They include the host site sponsor, mentors, bird setters, dog handlers, blue rock throwers, short-order cooks, photographers, Pheasants Forever members/officers and landowners.
Francis said they all have one thing in common—they are volunteers. Most mentors agree to return to be a mentor again in the future.
“It has provided them with a sense of accomplishment to have helped a youngster learn about hunting, a sport that is an American heritage but is becoming lost in today’s time,” Francis noted.
The youth mentor hunt also provides an opportunity for high school students to complete community service.
Pheasants Forever chapters are always in need of volunteers the day of the event. This event sees the return of former youth mentor hunt graduates to help on the day of the hunt.
Generally at least three volunteers are needed for every youngster who participates.
Volunteers are still needed to help with this year’s event. Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Francis at 308-882-6476 as soon as possible. Invitations have been sent to youths who have completed their Hunter Safety Education course.
There are still openings for recent youth hunter safety graduates age 12 to 15, Francis said. Parents whose children may be interested should contact Francis for information at the above number.