Waterfowlers encourage youthful enthusiasm

When Triangle Delta Waterfowl members noticed Max Canterbury, 9, of Wake Forest was enthusiastic about all things outdoors but hadn’t joined the club’s youth hunt, they realized Max wasn’t yet big enough to carry a full-size shotgun and was saving for a youth-size model.

So they came up with a plan for a surprise: The fourth-grader would earn his own shotgun and a lifetime N.C. hunting and fishing license by writing an essay and helping launch an annual Triangle Delta Waterfowl Heritage Award.

“He just kind of embodies the whole purpose behind what we do,” said club member Doug Boyette, a Raleigh lawyer, “so we just thought it would be a good way to encourage him and ultimately encourage other kids to get outside and participate.”

Having the extra homework ended up being “really fun,” Max said.

“At first, I didn’t really want to do it, but then I started getting into writing it when my dad started talking to me about what I could win,” said Max, who said he likes to read books, especially sports book, as well as play soccer and watch football. “My favorite part about what I wrote is that how my dad always helps me get my face paint on and my waders on.”

He’s looking forward to more adventures with his father, Marc Canterbury, and uncle Matt Canterbury of Raleigh.

“He’s the type of kid that’s the type of stuff he’s going to do,” Marc Canterbury said. “He’s happy to get up at 4 o’clock in the morning weekend after weekend and get out and get in the swamp. He really does enjoy that.”

That’s what the chapter volunteers want to encourage, Boyette said. Plans are still being made for boys and girls awards in under-12 and 12-17 age groups next winter.

The banquet and the June 23 Triangle Delta Waterfowl Conservation Golf Tournament at River Ridge Golf Club in Raleigh help volunteers fund waterfowl hunts for military veterans as well as youth.

“I think it ’s a great thing that Delta Waterfowl is doing to … get the youth involved,” Marc Canterbury said. “He (Max) doesn’t realize the importance or the value of that lifetime license (issued through the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission). I think that will be something he’ll really remember once he does.”

For now, Max appreciates the most tangible item: a Stoeger M3020 Compact 20-gauge shotgun, which came from Carolina Gunrunners in Raleigh.

“It’s really fun to have a gun now so I can actually get into hunting a lot,” he said.

Follow club on Facebook at www.facebook.com/triangledelta.waterfowl.

Saltwater fishing: The Coastal Conservation Association North Carolina will hold the Regulator Marine CCA NC Cobia Challenge Fishing Tournament on May 21 out of Portside Marine in Morehead City. First place wins $1,500.

UNC Institute of Marine Sciences biologists are expected at the weigh-in to take samples for research. Entry costs $250. Register at www.ccanc.org.

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