Date: Friday, September 21, 2012
The volunteers waited anxiously for the young hunters to arrive with their families to start the 2012 Pheasants Forever Youth Outdoor event from September 21-23, 2012. Courtney Shatley from Turtlepoint, PA was the first to arrive with her parents Troy and Stephanie along with her little sister, Autumn. Older sister, Alesha, drove up after classes from Thiel to share her sister's special weekend. Travis Greenawalt from Knox, PA came soon after with his sister, Krista and his parents, Eric and Sherri.
Jasmine Carlson and Cory Huff, our teen PF volunteers, helped to break the ice with the kids while the adults got to know each other better over hamburgers and hot dogs. Travis received a complete set of Pheasant Forever hunting clothing. Courtney received plenty of Pheasants Forever clothes along with a 20 gauge shot gun.
Travis couldn't wait to get on the trap field under the lights for some shot gun safety and shooting practice. John Bilodeau showed his patience prompting Courtney and the girls to try their hand breaking a few clay birds.
It was late before everyone settled down to sleep in the beautiful Queenstown Lodge. Rosebud Mining had again donated the use of the lodge for the weekend.
After a full breakfast, Courtney and her family headed to the pond of Ron (Pickles) and Deanna Vlassich to fish for bass, perch and sun fish. The fish were plenty hungry and couldn’t resist the bait provided by the Vlassich’s, a few sprinkles couldn't stop the fish from biting every five minutes. Don Carlson and Jane Bryndel were busy baiting hooks and throwing back fish. Travis set off with dogs and handlers to hunt down a few birds. Cory Huff, Carla Wegemer and Dick Bodenhorn were glad to show off their dog's talents. Travis was a fast learner and harvested plenty of birds for the freezer.
Dan and Amy Quigliani had hot soup and sandwiches waiting for lunch while everyone told their morning stories.
Time for Travis to bait the hooks and Courtney to work with her new shotgun. Tim Rowan and his German short hair found every bird in the field. Courtney's Dad was so proud when she harvested her first bird! Pat Shaffer made the rounds to gather as much as he could on video.
Arianna Evans and Emily Schneider and their parents joined the group for the chicken BBQ dinner, provided by Rosebud Mining. These young ladies were glad to share their stories of the first Pheasant Forever Youth Outdoor event from 2011.
At the conclusion of dinner, Courtney and Travis were each presented with a mounted pheasant. Dick Bodenhorn, Chapter President, presented Dane Potts, Rosebud Mining representative, with a plaque and photos to show the appreciation of Chapter 630, Pheasants Forever of North Central PA. The evening ended with a presentation by Wildlife Conservation Officer, Rod Burns of the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
Sunday morning got off to a sluggish start. After another great breakfast the youth were ready to head into the fields for another round of bird hunting. It was obvious the time spent at the trap range and the lessons learned while hunting Saturday were paying off as both youth were easily able to drop a few birds. Geocaching around the Lodge property had Courtney and Travis testing their new skills to hunt down some prizes hiding in the woods. Jasmine and Jane worked hard to put together scrapbooks to gather all the memories of the weekend. Travis wasn't ready to go home and can't wait the few more months until he turns 12! As the families were preparing to leave, one of the parents was overheard saying 'we came to this event as strangers and we are leaving feeling like we are a part of the Pheasants Forever family.'
Our many thanks to everyone who gave to the endowment in 2012 or donated specifically for this event - Alpha Sintered Metals, Rosebud Mining, United Refining, GKN, Susquehanna Wire Rope and Rigging, Cameron / Elk MH/MR Program, Precision Compacting, Advantage Metals, Metaldyne, SGL, Quala-die, Rebco, Scott Rowan, Ron Walters, Elk County Ammo and Arms, Gifts 'n Goodies as well as St. Marys and Clarion Walmarts. Special thanks to Cliff Forrest for the use of his beautiful Queenstown Lodge and for providing the evening meal Saturday .
If you are interested in donating for future hunting adventures for challenged and terminally ill youth, please send your tax deductable donation to:
Pheasants Forever Youth Outdoor, c/o Elk County Community Foundation
PO Box 934
St. Marys, PA 15857