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Chapter News - May 01, 2010

Youth Hunt Planning 2010

Youth Hunt Planning 2010

Date: Saturday, May 01, 2010

Pheasants Forever 2010 Mentored Youth Hunt

Photo of successful sportsmen from the 2009 Pheasants Forever Mentored Youth Hunt near Brandy Camp, PA.

The 9th Annual Pheasant Forever Mentored Youth Hunt is scheduled for October 9, 2010 on the new State Game Lands 44, the Kocjancic Tract, in Fox Township. This event is sponsored by Pheasants Forever Chapter 630, with assistance from the Fox Township Sportsmen Club.

Twenty-five of the very best dogs and dog handlers from the surrounding community come year after year to help the young hunters learn about upland game bird hunting. Their passion for the outdoors is infectious. Safety is stressed over and over to the youth. Everyone makes a few news friends. Many of the dog handlers repeat stories from last year and joke it was their most rewarding hunt all season long. This hunt has been used as a model for other mentored youth hunts in Pennsylvania.

Every successful activity has a great leader. Regretfully, Leon Blashock of Pheasants Forever announces that this is his last year to coordinate the youth hunt. "We are looking for an individual to keep this activity going and growing and bring in new ideas," says Leon. Those involved know that he will leave behind big shoes to fill after 9 years of his hard work.

Signs will be posted along the highway denoting the area authorized for the hunt. The hunt area is located east of State Route 219 between Toby Road and Brandy Camp Roads in Fox Township. The hunt area is approximately one thousand acres in size, so 35-40 youth will have ample room to spread out for a safe pheasant hunting experience. The day will begin at 7AM with formal registration, and end at approximately 4PM. Every hour, 6-5 teams of 4 (dog handler, dog, youth hunter, and adult mentor), will head to the field for a two hour guided hunt. Prior to each team departing for the field, a final safety briefing will be held at the registration area. There will be an added field stocked with chukars, in the event a youth does not have the opportunity to harvest a pheasant. Lunch is provided free of charge.

Every youth must attend the safety day on October 3, 2010 at the Fox Township Sportsmen complex from 1-4PM. This will be a mandatory 3 hour safety seminar that will be focused on gun and dog safety and hunter ethics. A review of safe hunting practices will be followed by demonstrations of dogs pointing and flushing birds at work, and trap shooting. At the trap area, hunters will demonstrate their abilities to safely handle the firearm they will use on the hunt. Twelve and twenty gauge shells will be provided for the trap shooting. This seminar has been held on previous year’s events, and was well received by the youth and adults.

Applications and firearm waivers are now available for this year's PF Mentored Youth Hunt. Deadline for completed application and firearm waiver is September 15, 2010 and space is limited to 35 youth - first come, first served! Pick up an application at Loves Canoe in Ridgway, and Smith's Sports Store and Elk Ammo and Arms in St. Marys. They can also be found online at http://www.northcentralpapf.org/. Any questions can be answered by calling or e-mailing event coordinator Leon Blashock at tobrits@windstream.net 814-885-8950.