Travis Simmon's article

Duck Day 2006:

Author: Travis Simmons, 8th Grader Angola Middle School
He is a former Duck day student and is currently addicted to waterfowl hunting. Also, Travis is school newspaper reporter.

The AMS middle school 7th grade students got to go to the 10th annual Steuben County Duck Days. This event was organized by the members of Ducks Unlimited and was planned by Scott Hottell, “The man behind Duck Day”. It was held on May 17, And 18, at Cedar Swamp.

“The best part of the day was seeing Winger the dog”, stated Alexx Bauer. Winger is an 8 year old black Lab, who loves his job. He is a duck retrieving machine. Winger and his trainer Mark Parman have become Master Hunters by passing the national course. He is now taking on another challenge: Lucy, a nine month old yellow Lab that is curious about training.

Matt Simmons and Alex Mills said “Predator and Prey was the best part of the day”. It is a game where someone is a “coyote”, and the rest are rabbits. The rabbits are supposed to hide from the coyote. The game teaches the checks and balances of nature. Too many rabbits and they starve. Too many coyotes and there is not enough food. The students learned that nature has a cruel way of balancing the population of animals.

The Angola FFA members helped teach the kids about swamps. Parker Rowan stated,” I learned that swamps filter the water for us. So if we didn’t have them, we would have dirty water”.

“This was my first time doing Duck Day but it is a really neat experience”, stated Conservation Officer Rodney Clear. He spent the day talking to the 5 groups of 60 kids about his job and how hunters and fishermen actually benefit wildlife. He was assisted by a group of Angola High School students that have created a group called MAD… Make a Difference. The MAD group volunteers throughout the community. On duck Day, they assisted the students with tree planting. Every student had the chance to plant at least one sapling.

The kids really got into building wood duck boxes, and loved seeing the mounted ducks displays. There were many live birds around all day. This reporter planted a tree last year. I found it. It has grown two feet taller!

Travis Simmons