Saturday, August 23, 2008

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Clinic - Bismarck, ND

This morning the kids and I got up bright and early to get ready to go to the Youth Waterfowl Hunting Clinic that Scott was in charge of at the DU office. They were a bit wild this morning and I wasn't sure we were going to last long, but they did finally calm down a bit once it got started.

Gage and Emma - The Future of Waterfowling

Everyone who attended this free clinic (it was for kids 17 and under) got a free t-shirt that said "I am the Future of Waterfowling". The ND Game and Fish Dept. gave DU a grant to put on this event. They had 4 different stations set up that Scott and a few other DU employees were in charge of and they gave talks about decoys, duck calling, retrievers and gear. Scott was in charge of the decoy department......big surprise there!

Here is Scott giving his spiel about decoys. The kids seemed to enjoy listening to what he had to say, but most importantly, I learned that it isn't necessary to have 1 million decoys in your spread and it doesn't really matter if you have the best looking ones that are on the market today. Scott may regret adding that statement to his monologue.

Scott also had his Finisher blind set up for the kids to see and they really enjoyed getting inside of it and popping out pretending to shoot ducks. This blind very much resembles the body bag that I roasted in last weekend.

Here is Gage "popping out" of the finisher blind.

Emma taking a little snooze in the blind.

Chris Davies and Matt Shappell put on the duck calling seminar. Chris makes Feather Duster duck and goose calls. His motto is "Lip it and Rip it!" :-) Chris competes in duck calling competitions as well. The kids REALLY enjoyed this station. They got to make ALOT of noise and didn't get scolded for it! Gage was pretty excited as he learned how to do the feeding chuckle, that mallards do, with his call. Chris' daughter, Madyson, gave the feeding chuckle demonstration to our group and she is VERY good! I guess Gage was determined to not let a girl out call him..................................he's going to have to do alot more practicing to even compete with her!

Here's Gage learning how to blow his call. Emma handed me her call at one point because she was upset that she couldn't make the same sounds that the other kids were doing. I decided to give it a try. The trick to the mallard feeding chuckle is to say "Tugga, tugga tugga" into the call in rapid succession. I can't do "tugga tugga tugga" but I replaced it with "Here kitty kitty kitty" and got nearly the same effect!

Gage and Emma "Lipping it and Ripping It".

Gage enjoyed hanging out with Madyson at the hunting clinic (She's 7 years old too). Here they are listening to Greg Johnson give a talk about hunting gear.

Emma mostly enjoys petting Greg's yellow lab, Amos McCoy. When Greg let Amos out of the truck he headed right over to Greg's finisher blind, hiked his leg and peed on it. I thought that was pretty funny. (My thoughts exactly Amos!)

Gage testing out the goose flag. This is the same type of flag that Joe had last weekend on our first-ever goose hunt.

Emma gives it a try as well.
The other station, about retrievers, was put on by Brie's sister, Nel, and her master Johann. Unfortunately I was so engrossed in his speech that I forgot to take pictures. Nel did a great job and I was amazed at how well she behaved around all of the kids. As I was standing there watching I was thinking it was a good thing that Scott and Brie weren't in charge of the retriever station because I'm sure she would have been enjoying all of the attention a little too much, and we would have gotten tired of hearing Scott yell, "NOOOOOOOOOOOO BRRRRRIIIIIIEEEEEE!" :-)
After the stations everyone went back inside for prize drawings. Everyone left a winner, but one lucky kid, went home with a brand new youth-sized Finisher blind!! Boy was he excited! There was a Bismarck Tribune reporter there taking pictures, so maybe all of you local blog readers can check the event out in the paper tomorrow morning? Gage and Emma both won little camouflaged hunting bags and Gage won another duck call (we need more of those like we need more holes in our heads). They also received camo baseball caps, white Avery skull caps (for hunting in the snow), and posters along with their free t-shirts. From all of the talking I overheard, it seemed to be a big success and I believe several of the fathers that were there with their kids would have enjoyed an adult hunting clinic as well. Another big thing that the kids were able to do while they were there was to sign up to have a mentor (hunters from the DU office) hunt with them during the youth waterfowl season, which is Sept. 20-21. Scott tells me not many signed up for that, but what an opportunity for these kids who otherwise would not get to experience duck hunting!
Here's a picture of Brynn Afton, Emma, Gage and Madyson Davies collecting all of their prizes after a fun morning of learning about Scott's passion.................hunting.
While I was standing there, taking this picture, the Bismarck Tribune reporter was next to me trying to get a picture of Madyson sitting there in her t-shirt, camo hat and she also had a duck call lanyard hanging around her neck. I think she was a bit annoyed that this guy was taking her picture, as she didn't really want to look at him. He then asked her if she could put the duck call in her mouth and pretend to blow it so he could get a picture. She put it up to her mouth and as soon as he snapped the picture she dropped the call. He kind of chuckled and asked her if she could do it again, and she did the same thing. I tried helping him out by telling Maddy to hold the call there for a few seconds so he could get a picture. I'm not sure if he got any good ones, but he did finally ask her to smile and pushed her cap up off of her face a little and took another picture. Later I heard Chris (Maddy's Dad) say Maddy's ear was hurting from an ear infection, so I think she may have been more annoyed because she wasn't feeling well versus her giving him "attitude." :-)
Overall, I'd say the kids had a pretty good morning. I think Gage was a little annoyed with Scott because when Scott was asking the kids if they could identify the ducks that he had projected up on the screen, Scott had to finally tell Gage he couldn't answer anymore because he needed to give the other kids a chance. I know Scott was bursting with pride, however.


Emily Jennings said...

Oh man... I know Jody and Silas would have LOVED that event!!

Kara said...

Sounds like it was a great event! Sorry we missed it....but we got you some great sweet corn to enjoy next week! :)