In This Issue:
When I first met “Shorty” Powers (see photo – RIP) who created Turning POINT, I began to really understand what the outdoors could do for those with physical (and mental) disabilities. Another mentor, Richard Louv, who wrote the book, Last Child in the Woods, demonstrated how nature builds a solid foundation for children’s (anyone’s) quality of life, social interplay, achievements and performance throughout life. Such people know that the outdoors (hunting) ultimately means health & well-being.
My own father, Dr. Lou Hall (RIP), introduced our family of ten kids to an outdoors lifestyle, and I am convinced that such an upbringing not only helped us mentally, physically and spiritually, it gave dad and mom a way to avoid putting half of us children on some form of ADD medicine. The OUTDOORS was our medicine, and, believe me, a few of us Hall kids were extremely active and lacked attention at times (no names…)
Of all of the activities we shared as a family, hunting easily ranked #1. Why? Because it involved a much higher level of responsibility than camping, hiking, climbing, boating and wildlife watching. Hunting and fishing (another form of hunting), involved more than SAFE, LEGAL & RESPONSIBLE outdoor practices, familiarization & skills with the equipment and knowing where to go. Hunting involved the taking of an animal, the emotions involved with that process, and being responsible enough to go from shot (hook set); to trailing (landing); to field dressing; to skinning; to butchering; to packaging; to freezer; to cooking. You don’t learn that process overnight! You learn it through constant guidance, trial, and continuation with and without support.
So what does one do when he/she doesn’t have an upbringing or family whose way of life involves hunting & outdoor experiences to the betterment of themselves?
Steve Hall, HE Coordinator
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Inks Lake State Park Disability Hunt participants get ready to embark on an afternoon hunt, November 29th, after a hosted lunch, Safety & Orientation, Hunter Education and Deer Hunting 101 seminar. SP Manager, Chris Hall, has hosted such hunts for the last few years and will host two more Mentor Hunts (one for disabled hunters; one for novice, first-time hunters) in early December. SP staff and Friends of Inks Lake SP volunteers assist with everything from food to hunting guides. Way to go!
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Randy Spradlin, W TX Hunter Education Specialist, wants all HE instructors to know about and hopefully join him and other W TX instructors for volunteer opportunities, workshops and conferences being held in December and in 2017 in the vast, wide open spaces of West Texas. Except where noted, please contact Randy Spradlin at firstname.lastname@example.org or (512) 923-3509.
2016 Hunting 101s include (still have spaces):
- Upland Game 101 – December 10th, Happy, TX (near Amarillo)
- Upland Game 101 – December 17th, San Angelo State Park
2017 HE Instructor Workshops include:
- Waterfowl 101 – January 21st – Abilene State Park
- Wilderness First Aid – January 25th, Abilene State Park – A Red Cross-blended learning opportunity for WFA Certification. Must have current CPR certification (any provider) and complete online course work prior to workshop.
- Wilderness Survival – February 24 – 26th, Abilene State Park – A hands-on experience challenging participants in developing outdoor skills including wilderness first aid, shelter building, fire starting, food gathering and other necessary wilderness survival skills.
- Trapper Education – February 17-19th – Twin Buttes, San Angelo – In cooperation with the Texas Trappers and Fur Hunters Association; course consists of both classroom instruction and hands-on training in the field. Participants will have an opportunity to set and run a trap line while discussing ethical and humane practices for responsible trapping; selecting and preparing modern traps & equipment; adjustments for targeting specific species; site selection for land and water sets; how to use baits, lures, and visuals; proper fur bearer handling and processing. Contact Brock Minton at email@example.com.
- International Conservation Workshop – April 28-30th – Elephant Mountain WMA Topics include wildlife management in Texas, Mexico and New Mexico; game species management including mule deer, pronghorn, desert bighorn sheep and desert quail; non-game and habitat management with a focus on mountain lion, coyote and feral hog.
2017 Hunting/Outreach Events & Opportunities include:
- Sweetwater ISD NASP Tournament – January 20-21st – Line judges, scorers and administrative assistance needed.
- BSA Venturing Outdoor Activity Day – February 4th – Sid Richardson Scout Ranch – Activities include rifle, pistol, shotgun, black powder, archery, skills trail and ethics. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Randy Spradlin
- Mentored Feral Hog Hunt – March 11, 2017 – Abilene State Park – Mentors needed to assist hunters on their first hog hunt.
- Silver Spur Gun Show / Outdoor Expo – March 25-26th – Lubbock, Hunter Ed Class, archery and laser shot activities.
- Brownwood State Park Open House – May 12-13th – Archery and air rifle activities.
- Daughters at the Range – June 10th – San Angelo Gun Club – Volunteers needed to assist young women and girls with their first shooting experiences.
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In October, CLFT (Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow) completed its 100th workshop at McGraw Foundation in Dunfee, Illinois, the primary sponsor and coordinator of the program, nationally.
I inadvertently left a few folks off of the CLFT national instructor trainer list in my last week’s blog. (I worry about my mind these days.) One of them is one my absolute favorite people and instructors — Misty Sumner, TPWD Wildlife Biologist from W. Texas, who is a leading hunter educator on behalf of biologists in Texas and nationally. Misty has worked integrally with Randy Spradlin, W TX Hunter Education Specialist, in getting biologists and game wardens from W TX trained as hunter education instructors and recently hosted such a training in Fort Davis. Another instructor/friend, Jerry Warden, former TX Youth Hunting Program Director, also has been trained. I’m sure I may have even left other TX hunter education instructors off the list, but I ask for Misty’s and Jerry’s forgiveness for this huge omission. No excuses — other than less brain cells these days. THANKS Misty for all you do for TPWD, hunter education and CLFT! Thanks Jerry for all you did getting the TYHP program off and running in TX! – Steve Hall
(Photo of Misty Sumner by Mandy Corso, CLFT Instructor Training, Sinton, TX)
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THE ORS is about ready to go –whew! Much has gone into the application. THANKS to HE instructors that helped TEST the system this past month to work out a few kinks — called “bugs” in the training and testing process.
The goal now is to roll out the system in January 2017 for three reasons.
- We can tabulate incentive awards using the HABES system for 2016 prior to modifying the system in ORS.
- It’s after the peak season — which enables us to transition to the new ORS over the next several months to ensure everyone is on board and/or trained as needed.
- The calendar year makes for a good starting point, fresh after the holidays.
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