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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes
SACRAMENTO NWRC: Juniors Take a Shot at Waterfowl Hunting
Region 8, January 7, 2011
Partners make the junior waterfowl hunt possible. (Garrett Spaan, Willows Kiwanis Club, with permission)
Partners make the junior waterfowl hunt possible. (Garrett Spaan, Willows Kiwanis Club, with permission) - Photo Credit: n/a
Junior Hunter Don Lamar and friend Kyle Rovane answering questions in the
Junior Hunter Don Lamar and friend Kyle Rovane answering questions in the "Junior Hunter Whiz Quiz" (Garrett Spaan, with permission). - Photo Credit: n/a

Junior hunters were given a special hunting opportunity December 11 and 18 at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's  Sacramento and Delevan National Wildlife Refuges’ (NWR) 20th Annual Junior Waterfowl Hunts.  

 

Over the two days, 111 juniors harvested 110 birds, with a waterfowl average of 0.9 at Sacramento NWR and 1.2 at Delevan NWR. Some hunters traveled long distances ranging from Mount Shasta and Hollister to Fort Bragg and Auburn. Each junior was provided with the experience of connecting with nature through developing a greater understanding of their quarry and its environment.  

 

All hunting blinds and assigned ponds on the two refuges were set aside exclusively for junior hunters (age 15 and under) for the day. The juniors were eager for the waterfowl hunting opportunity and were teeming with excitement at 4:30 a.m. when the event orientation began. Accompanied by a responsible adult, the juniors set into the hunt area and returned hours later ready to share and compare experiences with their fellow hunters over a warm lunch. Willows Kiwanis Club provided a hot dog BBQ with chips, drinks and the entire fixings at the Sacramento NWR hunt.  At the Delevan NWR hunt, California Waterfowl volunteer Rich Ambrosino cooked his famous homemade chili.  It was apparent that food was a very important part of this event as parent Randy Ladd exclaimed, “The first thing my son asked just after we set up our decoys was when do you think we should go in a grab a few bowls of that awesome chili?”

 

In addition to providing the space for the young hunters to practice their marksmanship, the event promotes well-rounded knowledge of waterfowl, ethics, good sportsmanship, refuge regulations and safe hunting practices through talks and activities hosted by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and California Waterfowl. Junior hunters were given gift bags, offered a free picture with a frame, encouraged to participate in a “Junior Hunter Whiz Quiz” for a chance to win a pair of binoculars, and played games identifying waterfowl species, judging distances and creating decoy arrangements to encourage hunting knowledge.

Contact Info: Lora Haller, 530-934-2801, lora_haller@fws.gov