Pleased with wa­ter­fowl­ing ex­po­sure

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum - Ron Parker, La Plata The wrier is the youth hunt pro­gram co­or­di­na­tor for South­ern Mary­land Delta Water­fowl.

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.

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