King George Outdoor Club Recruits New Hunters at Rose Hill Game Preserve
Mark Fike is a freelance outdoor writer and photographer. Mark writes for Virginia Game and Fish regularly and has been published in Virginia Wildlife, Whitetail Times, Turkey Country, and many other publications. He is also a volunteer DGIF Hunter Education Instructor and school teacher in King George where he mentors a student Outdoor Club.
Pheasant Hunt Provides Safe Shooting Skills Experience for Novice Hunters
March 4th dawned crispy cold as I headed my truck in the direction of what turned out to be a successful youth hunt. After picking up a few youth and a parent, we headed out towards Rose Hill Game Preserve to expose eight youth to our tradition of hunting. Most had never hunted before and the few that had, did so in the past few months. All went through a few prerequisites to include taking the VDGIF Hunters Education Course. Each of the youth were selected based on their maturity and desire to learn to hunt. As readers can imagine, taking 8 youth on a hunting trip where there are a lot of moving parts- such as dogs pointing birds, other humans moving around nearby and a flying bird, is a big undertaking. This was not a trip to take just any newbie on. After completing the hunter ed course and being selected to “try out” for the hunt, the youth then had to prove they could safely handle a shotgun and hit moving targets. We threw clays for the youth over the course of several practices for those that needed it. Several of our youth were true naturals and hit clays right away. One even was breaking clays with a Remington semiautomatic .410! Another is on the 4-H Shotgun team but had never hunted. Then, we had a few young ladies that had never shot moving targets before. One of our young women was found to be right handed and left eye dominant. I would think we had a few challenges to overcome but the youth turned that idea upside down. The young lady with the eye dominance challenge was instructed how to hold the shotgun left handed, her stance was set up and three clays later orange pieces were littering the ground! One of the other young ladies carefully listened to what I had to say about shooting clays and in less fingers than I have on one hand, her clays were flying apart. You have to love young people that listen carefully and execute the directions like that! I had two “dueling shooters,” as I started referring to them, that asked for two clays to be thrown at once at one of our practices. Both lined up next to each other and much to my amazement, they waited until the clays crossed paths close enough to be taken with one shot. Both girls waited for that moment and then tried to be the first one to break the clays. I have to say, pride surged in my chest. The youth were amazing! We worked with the others until they were hitting clays and then offered additional practices for those that needed it. The youth invested a lot of time in preparing for their hunting opportunity. Read the rest of the story and view the gallery of photos at: http://fikeoutdoors.com/blog.html