Boys and girls practice safe hunting skills on their first waterfowl hunt

Volunteers Mentor Youth on Waterfowl Hunt in North Dakota

Opening day of duck season is an exciting occasion, especially for youngsters hunting for the first time. During the 2017 North Dakota youth waterfowl hunting season, Ducks Unlimited volunteers took a group of kids hunting at the Coteau Ranch. The ranch, which is open to public hunting, is owned by Ducks Unlimited and located in the heart of the Prairie Pothole Region.

The young hunters had previously attended Ducks Unlimited’s Youth Waterfowl Hunting Workshop in August, where they learned the basic skills for hunting waterfowl. They were taught hunting regulations and duck identification, and learned about duck calling, decoy spreads, training a retriever, and firearm safety.

The youngsters put what they learned to good use and gained valuable experience despite the cold and rainy morning. Four mentors guided the six youth who ranged in age from nine to thirteen years old. The children’s guardian accompanied the group. One pair of youth hunters harvested a Gadwall, which supplied another teaching opportunity when the kids learned how to clean the bird for later consumption. Hopefully, the children will have many chances to use what they learned during the day on future hunts Hunter safety is always important and a good mentor will emphasize it when taking young people in the field to hunt. “We want to have fun and hunt ducks, but it is important to always remember to handle our guns in a safe manner to prevent any accidents,” said Terry Lassiter, DU regional director in North Dakota.

This opportunity was made possible through a partnership among Ducks Unlimited, the Prairie Pothole Joint Venture, and the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. Ducks Unlimited and the North Dakota Game and Fish Department offer a range of equipment for use for free for those taking a youth hunting. Contact the Ducks Unlimited office at 701-355-3500 to check out decoys, ground blinds, and other equipment for duck or goose hunting.

Photo credits: Ducks Unlimited Great Plains, Bismarck, ND

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