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Monday, September 9, 2013
It's the kind of opportunity that seemingly would result in an application frenzy.
The Virginia Deer Hunters Association is sponsoring a guided deer hunt for youth hunters on September 28, with participants hosted for their overnight whitetail adventure in beautiful log homes situated on thoughtfully managed, privately owned James River bottomland in Botetourt County.
The 12- to 15-year-old kids and their parent or guardian get to stay overnight and hunt on Saturday, with accommodations provided by hosts Jim Crumley, Carson Quarles and Mike Theimer.
About a month ago, VDHA director of field operations Dennis Campbell put out the word on the hunt and waited for the applications for the six spots to come rushing in.
The hardest part, Campbell figured, was going to be having to deliver bad news to those who didn't get drawn.
But when the Saturday application deadline hit, the concern about getting more applicants than spots disappeared.
"I got one application," Campbell said.
Talking by phone Monday morning, the two of us contemplated what was going on.
A few things are likely at work.
One is that the market for the opportunity is fairly limited.
In the literature promoting the hunt, the VDHA said it was looking for youth who have had limited opportunity to hunt.
That makes complete sense.
The most important kids to reach with opportunities such as this are the ones who don't normally get these kinds of opportunities.
But if you think about it, a lot of kids who have the desire to hunt have that desire because they come from a hunting family.
And, if they come from a hunting family, they're already getting out there.
Plus, the hunt is largely being publicized in the avid hunting community, again reaching those for whom the opportunity isn't intended.
Another challenge is Virginia's hunter education requirement.
Kids between 12 and 15 must be hunter education certified in Virginia.
Those from hunting families get it done. For others, those who might be intrigued by hunting but who lack a mentor, the requirement can be daunting.
Campbell also worries that some of the kids who would be a good fit aren't getting support from parents.
"It's not the kids," Campbell said. "The parents don't want to fool with it."
It is a commitment, no doubt.
Participants are asked to arrive by 7 on the evening of Sept. 27, then will spend the next day hunting.
We all know kids have busy schedules. But there must be a few out there without conflicts.
Campbell personally invited one youngster, so there are at least two kids who will get to participate in the event. Four openings remain.
Campbell has extended the application deadline and is hoping he gets at least a few more applications.
The hunt flyer and the application are available on my Wild Life blog at roanoke.com.
Campbell also welcomes phone calls or emails for more information. He can be reached at (540) 529-2202 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
It's almost bow time
Deer hunters hoping for some final field practice prior to the upcoming archery deer season have a good tune-up possibility this weekend.
On Saturday and Sunday, Sherwood Archers in Roanoke County will host its annual Bowhunters Jamboree at the club's property on Timberview Road, near Hanging Rock.
The main event will be a 3-D shoot, with targets set up to mimic hunting situations.
Archery experts from the club will also be on hand to help hunters with bow tuning, and with other archery-related needs.
Visit www.sherwoodarchersroanokeva.com for more information.
The folks at the Holiday Lake 4-H Center are at it again.
Hosts of popular beginner hunter workshops, the camp is hosting a waterfowl hunting workshop later this month.
The workshop, offered with the help of the Virginia Waterfowlers Association, will be Sept. 27-29. It's open to participants 12 and older, though youth under 18 must attend with an adult.
Among the classes are offered are sessions on calling, decoy placement, wing shooting, retriever training, and blind design and construction.
The registration fee, which covers lodging, food and instruction, is just $140, The deadline is Friday.
Visit www.holidaylake4h.com/waterfowl.php for more information, and for a copy of the registration form.
Weather JournalMidday update: More ice likely later