|Young hunters gain valuable experience at Pheasants Forever Youth-Mentor Hunt|
|Written by Wauneta Breeze|
|Thursday, 23 October 2014 15:47|
Wauneta-Palisade seventh grader Ty Duvel and Imperial’s Kamrie Dillion work to identify plants in the new Pheasants Forever building west of Champion. (Diane Stamm | The Wauneta Breeze)
By Diane Stamm
The Wauneta Breeze
On the cusp of pheasant season, nine members of last year’s Hunters Safety class were able to get hands-on hunting experience thanks to Pheasants Forever.
The nine youth, Chance Lotspiech, Dylan Dreiling, Sebastian Sis, Trevor Peterson, Ty Duvel, Logan Jussel, Kamrie Dillan, Taylor Jablonski and Wesley Throckmorton, met Saturday west of Champion at the new Pheasants Forever building. Each was paired with a mentor, handler, bird setter and photographer. Pheasants Forever Youth Chairperson Heather Francis said 45 volunteers were present.
Volunteers, parents and students were welcomed by Joel Gockley, Pheasants Forever Chapter President, and given an introduction to the newly completed Pheasants Forever project, including the one-acre hunting plot. Youth, 15 and under, can hunt the plot with a non-gun carrying adult. Youth who want to hunt need to contact Shona Heim for permission.
Duke Jaeger followed Gockley, reminding everyone involved about the importance of gun safety. Jaeger acknowledged that everyone was “pumped up” and excited, but to make good decisions.
Dr. Dave Johnsen of Vet Service talked to the kids about things they can do to take good care of their hunting partners, the dogs.
The group then split in half, with one group attending a habitat lecture by Jeff and Logan Pribbeno and the other going over more gun safety and getting a chance to do some trap shooting.
Following lunch, the youth went out in pairs, plus one single. Each group had a dog and handler.
Francis said the hour and a half hunt went well, though it was windy.
“The weather was good, it was windy but that goes along with hunting, you learn to go hunting when you can,” commented Francis.
All the hunters went home with a pheasant and a lesson in field dressing.
“The success of this event is not possible without the help of all the volunteers. By the time you count all of the cooks, photographers, dog handlers and volunteers, it takes about three or four volunteers for every youth that participates,” Francis said. “I want to thank all of the people who take the time out of their day, to help a youngster learn about hunting and being outdoors. Just seeing the amazed look on one youngster’s face is worth all of the work.”