Date: Saturday, October 06, 2012
Smiles were easy to come by at the 11th Annual Pheasants Forever Mentored Youth Hunt.
Chilly wet weather greeted the early risers waited to start the local Pheasants Forever Chapter 630 Eleventh Annual Youth Mentored Pheasant Hunt held on Saturday, October 6, 2012. Each of these 52 youth from 12-16 years of age participated in the Fox Township Sportsmen Safety Day the weekend before. They heard lectures on hunting ethics and safety as well as a demonstration of pointing and flushing hunting dogs. Fox Township Sportsmen have many great opportunities for kids. The lucky youth were Alex Meyer, C.J. McGowan, Garrett McClintick, Kyle Huff, Corey Snell, Donald Carlson Jr., Eddie Vollmer, Jagger Dinsmore, Matt Mills, Kory Mattivi, Kyle Micale, Nathan Mattivi, Nick Anders, Paul Mc Manigle, Michael Rusciolelli, Cory Lavella, Cole Grazioli, Evan Dunlap, Michael Ouellette, Taylor Dipold, Jackson Lindermuth, Bailey Schantz, Hunter Baxter, Mason VanDivner, Cory Huff, Gavin Canales, Holly Shields, Shea Bona, Hunter Johnson, Riley Dinsmore, Josh Mills, Logan Bobenrieth, Noah Moore, Zack Kline, Chris Lavella, Kayla Vollmer, Jacob Schnars, Will Thompson, Cody Fye, Casey Mattivi, Cody McClintick, Kyler Lenox, Jacob Smith, Luke Caskey, Matt Charters, Michaela Mattivi, Olivia Catalone, Mitchell Cashmer, Ray Kline, Shawn Sheeley, Wyatt Shaffer and Tanner Evans.
The club was able to accommodate 40% more kids in 2012 due to great participation of the dog handlers. Tim Rowan commented, 'We have dog handlers coming from as far away as Pittsburgh and Ohio to help with our mentored hunt. Word spread on the organization and safety of our event.'
Each youth and their mentor were paired with a bird dog and their handler. All 4 headed out into the habitat fields staggered from 7AM - 2PM for a 2 hour hunt. Everyone put on a few miles on their boots. The cool weather was comfortable for the hunting dogs. The youth harvested a total of 60-70 pheasants. But it's about more than taking birds. Youth involved in hunting are more apt in the future to be involved with other youth programs, care about the environment and be more responsible adults. Many thanks to Cory Huff who volunteered to show the kids how to field dress their birds for safe handling. Cory is a former participant in the event and now guides a dog for other youth. The biggest thanks of the day go to the dogs and dog handlers. Many are repeat dog handlers from the past that come back each year because this event is so much fun for everyone. Years of breeding, training and experience teaches these dogs to love tracking and retrieving birds and we thank them all - Chris Kline, Bill Kline, Shawn Lynch Rob Matson, Bob Esche, Paul Bishop, Jim Degler, Scott Rowan, Bob Mosier, Elmer Zuhurak, Paul Oldland, Becky Groll, Toby Shea, Rick Elliot, Leon Blashock, Tom Launer, Bill Zore Jr. Dick Bodenhorn, Travis Wienzierl, Phil Taylor, Ron Kuleck, Tim Day, Ray Romain, Cody McClintick, Jared Kuleck, John Bilodeau, Mike Wienzierl, Scott Shrekengost, Rick Mabie, Denny Andres, Dale Kepple, Pat Shaffer, Bill Zore Sr., Dan Quagliani, Carla Wegemer, Wally Wilson, Rich Wilson, Jasmine Carlson, Dick McDowell, John McClinton and Paul Fitch.
This was the second year the youth hunt was held at the new PA State Game Lands #44 on a reclaimed coal strip mine near Shawmut. The extra space helps ensure a safer hunt. The PA Game Commission and Pheasants Forever have committed to long range plans to continue improve this area for small game and all wild life. Two lucky kids won shotguns donated by the local Pheasants Forever of North Central PA #630. The winners of the 20 gauge shotguns were Donald Carlson Jr. and Kyle Huff. This event gets bigger and better each year due to help from our partners, the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Fox Township Sportsmen. Al and Bonnie Dempsey's crew donated and served a nice lunch to all involved. Al fires and rehires his crew every 30 minutes jut to keep them on their toes! The Dempsey's where honored with a plaque and gift card during the safety day program on September 30th.