Youth Dove Hunt aimed at getting

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 11, 2001

children interested in hunting


Staff Writer

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The phone calls have been pouring in at the Pike County Extension Office lately as county youth and parents eagerly await the Sept. 15 opening of dove season.

"I’ve had calls from all over the place," David Carpenter said. "It’s not just Pike County residents that are interested, but also residents in surrounding counties."

Carpenter and Tammy Powell, both of the Extension Office, have been extremely busy fielding all of the calls and informing people about the youth dove hunt which is being sponsored by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

The hunt, which begins Saturday Sept. 15, will also be held Sept. 22, Sept. 29, and on October 6. Activities for the event will begin at noon with hunter registration and a free lunch will be held from 12:30 to 1 p.m. There will also be a 30-minute presentation and safety discussion from 1-1:30 p.m.

"The hunt will begin at 2 p.m., and we’ll keep going until sunset," Pike County Game Warden Larry Hicks said. "We’re going to stay out there until the kids get tired of hunting."

He said the program is set up to get younger kids interested in hunting and keep them interested as they grow older.

"I hope that this program will help to develop a love of hunting," Hicks said.

The program will also give parents and children a chance to spend quality time together while teaching the children about firearm safety.

There has been a great deal of excitement surrounding the event and several individuals and companies have volunteered their time and materials to help out. Wal-Mart will be sponsoring refreshments and the Pepsi Cola of Luverne, an independent bottler, will sponsor the drinks. The field, which is at the intersection of Hwy. 125 and Pike Co. Hwy. 4, is being provided by Joe Richburg. The seed and ferterlizer were donated by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources through a foundation developed by the Department of Conservation. Andy Sheffield, Roy Dean Senn and Mike Cox all donated a tractor and spent time bushhogging and plowing the land.

There are some things that hunters should know concerning rules and regulations of the event. The youth must be less than 16 years of age and accompanied by a properly licensed adult at least 25 years of age. The adults should also have a Hunter Identification Program (H.I.P.) permit, which is a sticker given when a person receives a hunting license.

The sponsors are trying to host a clean and productive atmosphere for the children, so no alcoholic beverages are allowed. One of the areas that Hicks wanted to place an emphasis on was the importance of having proper eye and ear protection. Participants will only be allowed to use a number four shot or smaller and the shotgun can’t hold more than three shells.

"We have 36 teams right now," Carpenter said. "We have several uncles taking their nephews, one grandfather taking his grandson, mother and daughter teams, and even a father taking his four children, which range from ages 5 to 13."

"It’s going to be a real good program, a chance for youth and parents to get together and have fun," Carpenter said.

For more information interested individuals should call David Carpenter at 566-0985. You must be registered to participate in the free dove hunt.