When a child asks to play baseball or swim, a nonathletic parent can find a league. When a child asks to hunt, fish or shoot, a parent who grew up in the great indoors might have to scramble.
Helping youths experience those activities inspires organizations such as the Franklin County Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation to hold hands-on, introductory events, including its third Youth Conservation Day this past Sunday at Ray Family Farms near Louisburg.
“It was very powerful and heavy. I can’t believe I just shot that,” Hunter Giardino, 7, of Raleigh said after a round of skeet shooting in which a pellet from the shotgun made the bright orange clay target wobble but didn’t break it.
At the pellet gun station, Hunter hit the turkey head outline on the paper target, and he could visit other stations to shoot a blackpowder rifle, fish, dig for fossils and shoot a bow and arrow.
Hunter’s mother, Christie, brought him for the education.
“It’s something he’s interested in, and people teach him who know what they’re doing,” she said.
More than 20 volunteers spent a breezy, crisp afternoon helping 85 youths age 5-17.
“We’re finding a lot more kids who don’t have access, and parents don’t know how to get them involved. Those are the people we’re trying to reach to give the kids the opportunity to try it out,” said Tony Stallings, president of the chapter, which has more than 235 members.
Find events at www.ncnwtf.com, or call Stallings at 919-497-7601.
Women’s hunt: Women will get a turn at instruction, said Wynn Smith, the state chapter’s coordinator for National Wild Turkey Federation’s “Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.”
The Franklin County Chapter Women in the Outdoors Deer Hunt will take place Dec. 6. Novice or experienced hunters 16 and up can join. The first year drew six hunters, the second saw 12 and last year 21 turned out in the rain, Smith said. This year, the goal is 40.
“These ladies build a network of friends with common interest, and they become a support group for each other,” Smith said.
To sign up, contact Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cervid rules revised: Temporary rules to meet the state General Assembly’s requirement are approved, but white-tailed deer and elk aren’t included.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission on Oct. 30 approved temporary rules that will allow the commission to issue permits and licenses for facilities for farmed cervids instead of captive cervids.
Under the rules, farmed cervids would be members of the deer family that are not whitetails or elk; examples would be axis, fallow and red deer, all species from Europe and Asia.
Whitetails and elk had been listed, but a speaker at a public hearing in Raleigh pointed out the proposal might go against the law prohibiting the sale of the native cervids. The state is reexamining that potential conflict.
The temporary rule goes into effect Dec. 1.
For information, go to www.ncwildlife.org.
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