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Last Chance Deer Camp – Just the Beginning

A deer hunter. Scott poses by the HuntMasters Trailer

I can think of no better way to spend a cold January weekend than at deer camp.  This past weekend I did just that thanks to the good folks at the Crane Trust, a non-profit conservation group in central NE, and Mark Jensen, Hunter Education Instructor in Grand Island.  Being the final weekend of the 2012/13 deer season we nicknamed the camp the Last Chance Deer Camp.  However, with two young hunters attaining several “firsts” during the weekend and realizing just how hungry both these young men are to learn and experience more we should have coined it the “Start of Something Big Camp.”

Scott, from Lincoln, not only shot his first-ever doe he also took his first-ever drink of coffee.  And though you may never be waiting in line behind him at your favorite coffee shop, you can rest assured he will be prowling the woods in search of deer next season with his mom & dad who he has already recruited to the sport.  I also found out that Scott cheats at UNO.

Thomas, from Omaha, took his first-ever deer with a rifle he saved gift cards and cash to buy himself last year.  His dad helped him put a good scope on the gun this past Christmas.  Thomas passed on a smaller deer that stood less than 60-yards away on Saturday evening and then put the scope & gun to work on a beautiful doe just a bit later, connecting on a great shot.  I then learned how quick Thomas could move over the snow as he made his way to the fallen deer.

Success. Thomas with his deer.

Before the weekend ended on Sunday both hunters were already making plans to sample more of what this sport has to offer.  Thomas is intrigued by turkey hunting and Scott is now exploring waterfowl having listened to Mentor Mark talk about it in the deer blind.  I know these two will fare well as they are both very bright, motivated and have great support from their parents.  It was mom (Kristine & Angelique) that jumped at this deer camp opportunity.  It was dad (Beau & Nick) that braved the wind and sub-zero wind-chills to hunt.

Thanks again to Mark Morten and the crew at the Crane Trust for use of your facilities and property.  Thanks to Mark Jensen, Hunter Education Instructor & Mentor, for adding your years of experience.  Thanks to the moms for getting your sons involved.  Thanks to the dads for taking part in the camp.  And a special thanks to the boys for letting me be a part of the start of something big.

hershy

About Aaron Hershberger

Aaron "hershy" Hershberger is an Outdoor Education Specialist with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He loves being outdoors. When not outdoors he is day-dreaming about being outdoors and/or whining that he is not outdoors. Hershy has been a Hunter Education Instructor, in two states, for nearly three decades & a Bowhunter Education Instructor for over 20 years.

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