Archive for the 'Mentored Hunts Adult Novices' Category

First Time Adult Hunters

Monday, February 27th, 2017
A white-tailed buck.

A white-tailed buck.

This is Passport to Texas

It’s a bit of a phenomenon. Adults without previous exposure to hunting are expressing interest in learning the skills necessary to harvest big game. Texas Parks and Wildlife responded by developing a mentored deer hunt for adult novices, and offered its first workshop in December. Coordinator, Chris Hall.

The interest was overwhelming. We had it set up to ensure that we gave a quality program and had ample one-on-one time with hunters to address each individual’s needs. And I believe we were successful in what they were trying to get and achieve and where they were with their level of hunting and shooting.

Brad Sheffield, and engineer from Grapevine, took part in the three day program. Day one involved classroom and shooting range work; days 2 & 3 were devoted to putting new knowledge and skills to work.

We went out this morning to go hunting, and I passed on a button buck. And so I decided to see if there was more coming out—and there wasn’t. That was my only chance to shoot him.

Brad had success that afternoon. After waiting two and half hours in the blind, a group of deer came into view.

I was waiting for the doe to get in the right position because she turned around to go the other way, was behind the feeder, and then she finally got in a good spot. And I took my shot and dropped her—just like that.  [Cecilia] And do you think you’ll be doing more deer hunting. Absolutely. I’ll be taking my kids deer hunting as well.

More adult novice mentored hunts are being developed.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

A New Hunter Gets a Shot at Success

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017
Hunting for white-tailed deer.

Hunters attempting to attract deer to a clearing for a good shot.

This is Passport to Texas

Adults with little exposure to hunting are expressing interest in the activity. So, in December, Texas Parks and Wildlife offered a mentored deer hunt for adult novices at Inks Lake State Park. Chris Hall was hunt coordinator.

[We did it] to give a total turn-key experience—start to finish—of ethics, proper care and maintenance. As well as the hunting experience, itself.

Barham Richard, an environmental attorney from Austin, was among the group participating in the mentored hunt. He’d been squirrel hunting as a kid, but that was years ago. He sought guidance for big game, and found it.

From the first day, everybody’s been so helpful, and they’ve taken a lot of time to figure out what they wanted to do here. You can tell they took a lot of pride in putting this all together. So, I can’t tell them how much I appreciate all of it.

Barham and his cohorts spent the first morning of the 3-day mentored hunt in the classroom, and that afternoon at a shooting range. On day two, it was off to the blinds. Preparation paid off for Barham.

Got my first doe. You say this is your first doe. First deer? Yes. First deer ever. We got it late at night. We were about to pack up, and there it was. So, we took it, and I’m really happy. So, how did you feel as you were pulling that trigger? I tried to stay calm. Well, I had a misfire. So, we had to
unload it [the rifle], reload it. By that point it was pretty easy to stay calm. [laughter]

More adult novice mentored hunts are being developed.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

A Novice Hunter has Success in the Field

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Ralston Dorn [left] and a fellow workshop attendee [right] discuss Dorn's success in the field. He shot his first deer (a doe) during a mentored deer hunt for adult novices, at inks Lake State Park.

Ralston Dorn [left] and a fellow workshop attendee [right] discuss Dorn’s success in the field. He shot his first deer (a doe) during a mentored deer hunt for adult novices, at Inks Lake State Park.

This is Passport to Texas

Armed with his father’s vintage Weatherby 2506 hunting rifle, Dallas paramedic, Ralston Dorn, climbed into the idling pickup that would take him and his mentor to a blind at Inks Lake State Park, where they would wait and watch, and hope for a chance to harvest a deer.

We got there at 6 a.m. when it was dark. It was quiet. You got to watch the sun rise. The birds come in. The feeder went off at seven, and then five or ten minutes later, my guide ironically said: ‘Alright deer, come on out’ just as a joke. And sure enough, about five minutes later two doe popped out.

Under the direction of his mentor, Justin Dreibelbis, Ralston brought the rifle to his shoulder, and put the deer in his scope.

You know, my adrenaline’s flowing. And then he’s looking through his binoculars and I’m looking through the scope. And he’s telling me—alright–doe on the right is good to shoot. Alright, doe on the left is not good to shoot. Then it got to a point where the one on the left became the good one to shoot. My heart was racing. I did have to try and control my breathing. And so I took the shot. I just kind of let the trigger surprise me. And it went off and it was exactly where I was aiming. So it was a good shot. She ended up expiring about 20 yards from the blind. We waited for about 15 minutes in the blind, and then went to the point of impact.

Ralston Dorn shot his first deer during a new mentored deer hunt program for adult novices. Additional mentored hunts are in development.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Ralston Dorn Revives a Family Tradition

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017
Ralston Dorn at butchery demo by Chef Jesse Griffiths, Inks Lake State Park.

Ralston Dorn looks on as  Chef Jesse Griffiths demonstrates how to break down a deer during the Mentored Deer Hunt for Adult Novices at Inks lake State Park.

This is Passport to Texas

I met Ralston Dorn the week before Christmas at Inks Lake State Park, during the first of its kind mentored deer hunt for adult novices.

I come from a family of hunters—on my mom’s side. They all hunt. And my dad hunted when I was younger. But, I myself, have never been deer hunting, so I wanted to learn how to do it.

Ralston, whose middle name is “Hunter” is a paramedic from Dallas.

The first day of the program taught us a lot of what we needed to know in preparation for the hunt. What kinds of shots to take. What kinds of shots not to take. Ways to load and unload the rifle and carry it. How to be safe….

Ethics and proper care in the field were also covered. Ralston brought a family heirloom to use on his hunt.

My father’s Weatherby 2506 that he used to deer hunt with when I was a little kid. When I was about 10 years old, he quit deer hunting, and hasn’t hunt in probably 21 years. And so that gun probably hasn’t been fired in 20 years [chuckles]. So, it was nice to keep the tradition going on in my family with that firearm.

Tomorrow, find out if Ralston’s father’s vintage rifle, combined with the knowledge and skills he learned during the mentored hunt workshop brought him luck in the field.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series…as well as hunting and the shooting sports in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Mentored Deer Hunt for Adult Novices

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017
Workshop organizer, Chris Hall, and workshop attendee, Ralston Dorn.

Workshop organizer, Chris Hall, and workshop attendee, Ralston Dorn.

This is Passport to Texas

The week before Christmas, five men and two women—myself included—met at Inks Lake State Park in Burnet for the first of its kind mentored hunt for adult novices. Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Justin Dreibelbis was an organizer.

Chris and I are both really excited to have a program that allows them to get that knowledge and come out here—and feel comfortable asking questions, so they can learn how to do it. Now they can go take their kids, and hunt with their friends and family and enjoy the outdoors.

Chris Hall is lead ranger and hunt coordinator at Inks lake state park.

We set out to allow an opportunity and an experience for individuals later in life who have not had the opportunity to hunt or to enjoy the experience of the outdoors in that capacity. And, to give a total turn-key experience—start to finish—of ethics, proper care and maintenance. As well as the hunting experience, itself.

Hunter Ed Coordinator, Steve Hall took us to a shooting range at a nearby ranch where we learned safe firearm use. We shot balloons and paper targets until we got it right.

Now, with the deer tomorrow, though, the first shot is the one that you want to count. You try to do any sighting in or practice right before the hunt, because then you get out all the ‘ooga boogas’ out that you can on the range. So that when tomorrow morning shows up—the shot counts.

Tomorrow—hunters put their newfound skills to the test.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.