2018-11-03 / Outdoors

‘Alumni’ join youth pheasant hunt


From left, Blake Cool, Mackenzie Hooftallen and Jamison Britton were successful hunters during the annual CCOYA youth pheasant hunt. Twelve boys and five girls age 16 or younger participated, including the father-and-son team of Wes and Dylan Rieder. From left, Blake Cool, Mackenzie Hooftallen and Jamison Britton were successful hunters during the annual CCOYA youth pheasant hunt. Twelve boys and five girls age 16 or younger participated, including the father-and-son team of Wes and Dylan Rieder. Another successful pheasant hunt was held by Cameron County Outdoor Youth Activities at the Andrews Farm.

CCOYA leader Don Bickford was quick to point out that the event was far more than a hunting day afield.

“This is a unique experience for the kids,” Bickford said. “They learn about conservation, hunter safety and game management, among other topics.”

Kevin Couchman from Bucktail Rod and Gun Club spoke with the group on safety issues to start the day. The young hunters then polished their skills with shotguns by shooting at clay pigeons.

Many volunteers were on hand to help.

Each youth was paired with an experienced mentor. Eric Farabaugh from Emporium, Eric and Emily Perlock from DuBois, and Bob Rodich from Ridgway brought their bird dogs to give the youths experience in hunting with trained dogs.

“This event could never be held without the help of our dedicated volunteers,” Bickford said. “There are many people involved in this program, from dog handlers, mentors, food preparers, food servers, those that stock pheasants, along with those that help set up and clean up after the event.”

This year’s corps of volunteers included some of the teens who have participated in previous youth pheasant hunts.

“They are older than the age limit of 16, but wanted to help,” Bickford observed. “That gives us all a sense of accomplishment. It is great to see our youth giving back to something they have enjoyed in the past.”

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