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Successful NYS Youth Mentor hunt


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The new NYS Youth Mentor Program was successful for my son, Kevin who turned 14 in Oct. He was very excited when I told him of the new regulation earlier in the year and he read the regs as soon as I gave them to him. He spent quite a bit of time out scouting while I was bowhunting and had the ground blind all picked out for us for opening day. As opening day approached he says to me, "Dad, I can't shoot a doe can I, since I don't have a DMP?" I explained that he could and I signed one of mine over to him and he says, "I don't want to shoot a doe anyway - I want my first deer to be a buck and I'm going to gut it out myself!" Of course, that was right after he saw the "Big 8" buck. I explained to him that harvesting doe's is important and any deer harvested for your first is a trophy. The eve of the opener had us down at camp preparing for the next morning and I'm not sure who was more excited - him or me! We awoke to pouring rain, put on the rain gear and headed out in the dark. Fog settled in and as I was telling him the deer wouldn't be moving much with these conditions, when he spotted movement and we watched as three deer approached. I see him get his gun ready, and click the safety off as a nice doe and two yearlings trotted by. My soft grunt wouldn't stop them and Kevin held off on a shot. After a few minutes I asked why he didn't shoot - he says "the two were too small and I didn't have a good shot at the bigger one. Besides, I was hoping that a buck was chasing them!." I told him that he made a good decision and I was very proud of him for doing so. Later that afternoon, we were in the same blind when 4 doe came into view. Again, Kevin got his gun ready and I heard the safety click off once they were in range. The biggest one walked broadside at 90yds - no shot, 80yds - no shot, I look at him, wondering why he's not taking the shot, and he's looking past her to see if there's a buck trailing! At 70yds - BANG and she drops dead! After some high fives and a hug, we went over to the deer. We waited for the others in our group to join us and after pictures and more congrats it was time for field dressing. With a little help from Dad, he field dressed his first deer. I really can't say who was more excited at that moment or the moments leading up to it, but I can say that I couldn't be more proud of him. The practicing with his shotgun, the scouting, the patience, the safe gun handling, it is all what I am most proud of. The time spent together outdoors is most meaningful. He held out for a buck the rest of the season, but never had an opportunity, so, "there's always next year!" I told him.



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Way to go Shawn and Kevin!

Fantastic story - it's great to see how proud you are of your son and what a great outdoorsman he's becoming. My girls are only 4 and 2, but already my oldest can identify a buck rub and deer tracks when we walk in the woods.

Thanks for sharing your story with us - Happy New Year!

- Chris

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FX ... this is Perfect and does not get any better!!! Congrats to you and your son not only a good ecperiance but alos a life long memory. It was a nice "jolt of energy" in my HS classes this past year with the influx new younger excited hunters. It was even nicer to see thier Dad's and Mom's (yup even some Mom's) sitting through the class with them. Only regret is that it took so long to get this through the state. Best of luck with future hunts and be safe.

Mark B.

NYS Master Sportsman Education Instructor

Madison County

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks guys! It was quite a thrill. Mark - my hat's off to you and all other educators. The time you guys devote to getting kids involved is to be commended and is much appreciated. I was glad when Kevin took his course a couple years ago, that the instructor invited me to take it with him and get re-certified. Much more enjoyable for both of us and especially for Kevin when he outscored me by one on the test! Probly won't ever live that one down and that's ok as long as he keeps his interest in the outdoors.

Thanks again,


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Shawn, myself and the guys I teach with love doing the classes. Been in it since 1980 and I have loved every gun and bow class I have ever been involved with.

I hope you don't mind me diverting this thread to put in a pitch for new instructors?? We always could use some help and new blood in the program. Its not as much time as you think. My team has 7 instructors for both Gun and Bow. So we can share the class load and cover for each other if we can't make a certain night. You don't have to be a great teacher or great in front of a group. Just love the sport and enjoy the interaction with others. Your "pay" is the look on the face of kid when you hand them thier cert or later when you bump into them somewhere and they babble on for an hour about thier first deer or turkey :clap: !!

Its not that tough nor takes as much time as you would think ... if your interested contact your local DEC office and they will get you into contact with your regional DEC education coordinatore or local Master instructore. If your in Madison, Onondaga or Oneida county PM me ... you wont regret it ... Thanks


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