Pleased with waterfowling exposure
I was pleased to see the story, titled “Children try their hand at waterfowling — Delta Waterfowl’s Southern Maryland chapter leads youth hunting expedition on Saturday,” (Maryland Independent, Feb. 15).
Southern Maryland Newspapers is a valuable community partner to the chapter. The cover story raised public awareness about the annual waterfowl youth hunt program and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Andrew Richardson and you. This year’s event was a tremendous success measured by participation, feedback that the mentors received from youth hunters and parents and comments posted on social media.
Delta Waterfowl’s youth hunt program is designed to safely train and mentor first-time and novice hunters about the craft of waterfowling. A mentored waterfowl hunt is a fun outdoor sporting activity for young people that reinforces safety and positive behavior and deters risky behaviors like drug use and underage drinking.
Probably two of the most critical factors for success of the youth hunt program are to gain permission from private land owners to access farm land, flooded marshes and river shorelines for morning hunts and to enlist accomplished waterfowl hunters to mentor and instruct youth participants on hunting regulations, waterfowl identification, calling, decoy placement, hunter ethics and etiquette.
The chapter’s highly-engaged board of directors, consisting of Mike Abell, Jeff Errington, Andy Fox, Petie Griffin, Fred Perini, Dan Rice and Susan Rice, and Mike Woodall, Jr., served as mentors and event volunteers. Additional mentors, consisting of Todd Hayden, John Kern, Johnny Marshall, Mike McDonald, Jim Rice, Nick Simonds, Brian Stein, Bob Wetherald, Keith Whitely and Mike Woodall Sr., led small group morning hunts. Committee volunteers’ Lonnie and Laurie Gardiner and Adam Mulvin were also on hand during the luncheon and afternoon group activities.
I am proud to be a member of Delta Waterfowl and thankful for the opportunity to take part in this youth hunt program to share the rich history and tradition of goose and duck hunting with future generations. The acquaintances that you meet and memories that you make in the hunting blind can last a lifetime.