Tag Archives: youth hunting

Harrison’s First Duck!

Youth Waterfowl Days are some of my favorites. Nothing is more enjoyable than seeing the excitement of the outdoors through the eyes of a kid.

As much as I enjoy it now, I cannot wait to take my own kids in a few years.

North Carolina added a youth day this season, identifying both Dec. 10 and Feb. 4 as days where only an accompanied youth – ages 15 or under – get to do all the shooting at ducks and other legal fowl.

Last weekend, I was able to join as a special videographer as Harrison Shell, 9, harvested his first duck – a beautiful drake wood duck. Harrison’s dad, Kenneth, spends a lot of time helping fuel the young hunter’s drive for the outdoors. It’s great to see – both that Harrison has a tremendous passion at such a young age, and that he has a dad who is willing to help him enjoy it.

With that, I give you a video episode to follow the action from the hunt.

Nate’s Journal

The following journal excerpts come from Nate Faulkner, 12, who enjoyed his first trip to North Dakota to hunt the non-resident duck season earlier this month. The trip included his father, Richard, as well as Richard’s friends DeWayne Taylor and Kurt Culbert.

Day 1. We arrive in Fargo, North Dakota at about 11:00 pm central standard time. I’m waiting for my luggage with my Dad and his friend Kurt. The airline opens the oversized luggage window, drop out Kurt’s gun case but not ours. Non of our luggage made it on the plane from Chicago, IL to Fargo ND. We drive to the Hilton Garden Inn in Fargo ND to stay for the night. We had planned to pick up our luggage along with the final member of our hunting party. We slept on great beds, it would be the last time for the entire trip.

Day 2. We wake up early to go and scout for the hunting to come. We ride for a few minutes and pull into a field. All of a sudden the field erupts in a blanket of waterfowl. Ducks are flying everywhere, it is the most ducks I have ever seen. We decided to name it “Nate’s Place”. Everything appeared to be good, that feeling melted when we saw there were crops still in the field. The law in North Dakota states that you can not hunt property that has a posted sign or has crops in the field, without the permission of the land owner. So we drive away and plan to come back later to try and find a house near the field. We ride around and find a few good backup fields in case the owner of what we have called “Nates Place” says no. Next we go back to Fargo to pick up our luggage and the last member of our hunting party, DeWayne. We ride back to “Nates Place” and find a house next to the field. We go up and knock on the door, no answer, we knock again…..no answer. The positive thinking we had is starting to fade. Since no one was home we ride to another house close by. This time someone comes to the door, a lady comes to the door. It turns out she and her husband Dave own the field. She provides us with her husband Dave’s phone number. We wait to call him as he is working at harvesting beans. We ride on to New Rockford ND and pull into the Bison Lodge where we will stay the rest of the trip. We call Dave and he says have permission to hunt the field as long as we do not mess up any of the crops.

Day 3. This is the opening day of non-resident season in North Dakota. We head out early to “Nates Place.” We get out there and the ducks are here and there but not a whole lot of ducks. We are beginning to get concerned, but my dad says it should be a good hunt as when we came by yesterday it was later in the day. We get set up in the grass, decoys set, guns loaded. It was a little past legal and the ducks start flying like there is no tomorrow. My dad limits out in about 20 minutes. I have about 2 ducks and it started to slow down. the rest of the hunt was pretty good. I had fives ducks and the limit is 6. Mr. Dewayne and I moved down the bank as the birds started to fly a different path later in the morning. The birds would fly to us then move off. Finally we saw a pintail as it was making a line for us. I raised up and pulled the trigger. It was the first time I had ever limited out. I also shot my first gadwall, and blue wing teal that day. We spend the rest of the day scouting for the trip. We settle on a place my dad has hunted before and called the Juanita Spoonie Hole.

Day 4. We wake up and start driving to the Juanita Spoonie Hole. We get there and not much happens – most everyone has one bird. My dad and I move to a different hole that is not far away on the same block of land. Birds are constantly flying over us just too high. We try to move to where the birds are flying but the water is too deep and we have to keep looking for a spot until we find one where the water isn’t as deep. We move into the water and I shoot 3 more birds. I ended up with 4 ducks this day. We plan on trying to find a spot for an afternoon hunt but nothing ever comes up.

Day 5. This is the last day we get to hunt on this trip. We go back to “Nates Place” just in a different spot. We did not see many birds at all that day much less shoot many. One hen pintail came flying in and I raised up and shot it. The bird comes down 4 feet behind me. Other than that bird I didn’t shoot another bird. So we go back to the Bison lodge and pack up for our flying home in the morning. It was a great trip and some really neat land to see. I really enjoyed seeing another part of the country.

Nate Faulkner

Editor’s note: Great job, Nate! You’re welcome in my blind any time. Please look for a short video chronicling the father-son hunt very soon on http://www.AHuntersTales.com

Brock Strikes Again! Weehew!

By Brock Albaugh
AHT Contributor

Hi, my name is Brock Albaugh. I am 13-years old and the nephew of Kurt. I live in Carrollton, Ohio, which is a very small town in eastern Ohio but has lots of woods to deer hunt in. I have a giant passion for hunting. If I am not deer hunting, I am rabbit hunting with my beagle, Abbie. I am always outside doing something and I love the outdoors. My Uncle Kurt wanted me to share my story.

It all started on May 24, 2011 when I was outside and saw this deer in a hayfield across the road from my house. I got a picture of it and was ready for the Ohio Whitetail archery season to start. The deer was coming out every night that week, so my dad, Jeff, and I decided to put a corn pile out in front of a trail camera to see if we could get any good pictures and videos, and we did.

We watched the deer all summer and was able to watch it grow into the deer that I would shoot. My friend, Kory Host, and I were able to shoot a couple of good videos of the buck earlier in the year while it was eating in the hay field. The videos were very cool, but the buck was only about halfway done growing his antlers, so he was not as big. Since that day in May, the buck came out in the same field just about every night to get some food before it would disappear into the woods, but still come out the next night for the same routine.

This deer has not just been around my house this year, it was also around last year too. The first time we saw him was in the beginning of December, 2010, right before I shot my deer last year. I know it’s this deer because of the big brow tines the deer beholds.

All winter we were getting trail camera pictures of the deer eating in front of the trail cameras. I was just hoping that it would stay around until this hunting season so I could hunt it. Luckily, he did just that.

Our 2010 was a very bad winter which caused the deer to try to find food in the most unusual of places. It was so bad that the deer came out of the woods and were eating corn out of a cardboard box in our front yard. Deer would come every night to our front yard to eat the corn in front of our house. We decided to put the trail camera on a tree in our front yard to see what deer would come in the middle of the night, and I did not believe it but a few bucks were coming and eating the corn.

Then, at 12:30 a.m. on Christmas morning, this buck appeared across the road and came into our front yard to eat some corn while we were standing in the picture window watching him. He ate corn for about 15 minutes then walked back across the road and into the woods. It was a very cool experience and doubled my hopes of getting this deer the next year, and lo and behold, I did!

So you are probably wondering about the actual hunt! Well, here is the story.

On September 24, 2011, the first day of Ohio archery season, I was extremely excited to go hunting for the first time in a couple of months but did not expect that I would shoot this deer later in the day. My dad and I went hunting in the morning on some private Ohio property and saw a few small bucks, but nothing worthy of shooting. Once we came home, I decided that I wanted to go hunting across the road on the edge of the woods by the hay field in my ground blind.

So a few hours earlier in the day, my Dad and I went over to try and hide the ground blind a little better than it was and put oak branches (with the leaves still on them) in the field to show me how far away the deer are. We did that and then returned to my house until it was time for me to go hunting.

It was around 6:00 p.m. when I decided that it was time to go over and sit until dark. I put on my black clothes, since the inside of the blind is black, grabbed my crossbow and headed for the blind. It took about an hour until the action started. About 8 or 9 does and a few fawns came out of the woods and into the field about 25 yards from my blind to eat. Then about 20 minutes later, I saw this deer’s antlers peak over the hill, and come in my direction. I was excited, but not too excited because when I had to shoot, I did not want to be shaking like a leaf.

Once he came down toward my blind, I hoped that he would give me a shot. The buck came running down by my blind at a very fast pace only 20 yards away, but he was moving too fast to shoot. Then he stopped 25 yards away, but he stopped in the worst position for a hunter, and I am sure that this has happened to you. The deer came down and stopped with his rear-end facing directly in my direction. All I could do was sit there with my crossbow and watch this deer eat right in front of me. It was pretty bad, but I knew that I could not get nervous, so I stayed calm. Then the worst thing almost happened. The deer started to walk straight back up the hill with his rear-end still facing me, I thought that I would not get a shot and have to watch him walk up the hill. But all of a sudden the whole scenario changed. He turned and walked right over to the oak branches that my dad stuck in the ground and started eating the leaves while standing broadside.

This is when I knew that I had to shoot, or it could be my last chance.

So as the deer was eating my thirty-yard marker, I pulled the trigger. Once I pulled trigger the arrow went on the longest 30 yard flight I think I will ever feel. To me, that 30 yards seemed like it took the arrow and the broadhead more than a minute to hit the deer. But once the arrow hit, a loud thump was heard and the deer almost did a front flip when it kicked his feet in the air.

The deer took off running, jumped a fence, then fell only 50 yards from where I shot it. As the buck fell, which I could see it, I got a rush of adrenaline knowing that I had shot a nice trophy buck.

I called my dad and told him that I got it and he was excited, and I mean very excited. We let the deer lay for about 30 minutes, then went after it. The deer was down and had holes coming out both sides of its body from the arrow and broadhead, I suppose that I double lung shot the deer since it went down so fast. I was very excited with this deer in my hands knowing that it is a trophy. My favorite characteristic is the brow tines that the deer has. I think that is very cool that they are so long and the tips almost touch each other. Once the field dressing and pictures were done it was time to go back to the house. We then put ice in the deer, covered it with a tarp and it was time to go inside so I could tell my dad the whole story. When I told him, he was very happy for me.

But my dad did ask me one question, he said, “Brock, why were you so calm when I came to get you on the four wheeler, it seemed like you were not excited about shooting the deer?” So I replied by saying, “ The deer I shot last year was a little bigger, so I was not going to get too excited over shooting a smaller deer.” He still cannot get over how calm I was when he came to pick me up.

When we went to the butcher shop to pick up the head to take to the taxidermist, one of the butchers told me that the deer weighed 200 pounds, field dressed. I could tell it because it was very hard to get the deer from the ground to the truck.

I know that you might think I am crazy, due to the fact I am a young hunter, but I actually would have let that deer grow another year or two so it could grow to become a real trophy. But due to the fact that the deer lived very close to a busy highway and had other hunters were hunting in the same general area, I knew that I should take advantage of this chance and shoot him. It was also hard to shoot it knowing that it is smaller than the buck I shot last year too because I did not want to shoot a deer smaller than that one, which scored 144 inches and made the Ohio Big Buck Club record book.

To me, watching this deer from the beginning of the season in velvet to the last time the deer will enter the
field on September 24, 2011 is very cool. Not many people, even adults, get the chance to watch a deer grow like this then shoot it in the same season, but I am one luck kid that did get that exact experience!

Editor’s Note: I’m very proud of Brock. First, for the way he’s handled taking two deer in successive years that most (yes, most) hunters never get a chance to take in their hunting careers. I’m also proud of him for taking the time to write a great story to share his experience with our readers. He’s got the hunting bug, and that makes his uncle (who happens to suffer from that same illness!) pretty darn excited! I’m lucky that I have nieces and nephews – and hopefully a couple kids when they are old enough – that enjoy the outdoors. Here’s looking forward to sharing the woods and waters with Brock, and the rest of my family, for decades to come.

To read about Brock’s 2010 144″ monster, click here.

Daydreaming … beyond this year!

With extremely high hopes and a couple very strong opportunities for successful hunts in place for 2010 and 2011, it might be difficult to understand why I spent a big chunk of today thinking about hunts roughly a dozen or so years away.

While flinging a few arrows at the target with a couple of hunting buddies, conversation stumbled upon taking our kids hunting. Jason, whose target we were trying to wear out, has a little girl just a few months older than Sara. We chatted about buying our little girls youth bows and letting them shoot with their daddies. Those days will be here much quicker than that first hunt. But I look forward, with great anticipation, to hopefully sharing the woods with my little girl. Jeff, our third shooter tonight, has a boy who is within a few years of his first hunts.

I do not plan to pressure Sara (yes, she does already have the lifetime license which is more pressure than I’d like to put on her), but my hope is that she will see just how much passion I have from enjoying all of the fantastic things that hunting provides. My dad never pressured me once, but he was able to help me develop an unmatched enthusiasm for the outdoors.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m about as excited for hunting the 2010-2011 season as I have been in many seasons. But I can’t help but imagine how awesome it will be to share the woods and waters with Sara when we get the chance to do that in a few years!