With adult supervision, four youth hunters and one tagalong participated in a youth-focused dove hunt just west of the Hettinger Research Extension Center. The expedition, led by Cedar Creek Chapter Pheasants Forever Volunteer Ben Geaumont, sought to encourage kids ages 12 – 17 to learn more about dove hunting.
This year was the second year Geaumont has led a youth dove hunt. Geaumont said that youth hunts give him a chance to show off and teach others about his passion, hunting.
“The reason I do it is because it gives me an opportunity to bring kids out hunting,” said Geaumont. “If I can get kids involved in hunting, as a research biologist, I can help them understand habitat and grasslands, and that’s great for conservation in the long run.”
He continued, “And if you teach the kids to hunt, it’s something they can always do if the season is open.”
Altogether, the kids, Riley Hasbrouck, Blake Larson, Cameron Wieland and Isaak Guthrie, shot over 250 shells. The ammunition was paid for through Game and Fish grants, according to Geaumont.
By the end of the hunt, the group walked away with over 20 doves. Geaumont said that the small canola field west of the Hettinger Research Extension Center turned out to be the best place to hunt.
“Doves are migratory birds, so you have to scout for them,” said Geaumont. “I scouted all over the day before, and it turned out the birds were where they were.”
After the hunt, Geaumont and the other volunteers cleaned and cooked the birds and hosted a corn and dove feed for the youth hunters.
Youth hunters who missed the dove hunt might have another chance to participate. Geaumont said that the local Cedar Creek Chapter is planning another pheasant hunt to take place sometime in early October.
“Last year, I hosted the youth pheasant hunt at my house,” said Geaumont. “We have the kids come out, we shoot trap, and then we hunt my land.”
Geaumont said that shotgun shells are provided, and that all the kids need do is sign a waver with their parents, have a hunting license, and bring their own gun and gear.
“Anyone is welcome,” said Geaumont. “We are just happy to have kids participate.”