The prairies echoed with exuberant calls last month, not from camo-clad men in the field but from the homes of about 40 children who participated in the Youth Waterfowl Hunting Clinic at Ducks Unlimited's Great Plains Regional Office. Duck calls were among the many goodies the waterfowler wannabes took home after the successful day of sessions geared toward sparking their interest in hunting.
"We wanted to try to help get young people interested in hunting," said Scott Stephens, organizer of the event. "Hunting numbers are dropping off across the country, and we think exposure to the sport and having someone to show them the ropes are barriers to getting more kids involved."
|DU's Brad Karel shows Youth Waterfowl Clinic participants how to use a lay-out blind|
The youth and their parents attended learning stations about waterfowl gear, retrievers, duck calls and decoys. In the afternoon, the older kids had an opportunity to improve their shooting skills with awesome instructor Mark Sandness at the Capital City Sporting Clays Range.
Parents expressed their appreciation in evaluations filled out after the event with comments such as, "The event piqued their interest in pursing a lifelong hobby," and, "Awesome for kids and adults alike."
In addition to Ducks Unlimited, the event was sponsored by ND Game and Fish, Avery Outdoors and Feather Duster Calls.