Education of the next generation of duck hunters is of utmost importance to the United Waterfowlers-FL. This why our members can be found teaching waterfowl in all parts of the State of Florida. Whether is a summer camp at the Beau Turner Youth Conservation Center (BTYCC), Youth Trailblazer at Broward County Park, or a Youth Hunt at a Storm Treatment Area (STA), you are bound to find a UW-F member sharing his/her passion with the young hunters.
Also, The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission conducts youth camps at the Ocala National Forest each year for five weeks. Youngsters attending the camps are given comprehensive lessons in the outdoors, including hunting skills. The five camps each have well over a hundred total participants. UW-F has presented a duck hunting seminar at these camps for several years. Most of the youngsters have never been duck hunting and the UW-F seminar is their first contact with the sport. The camps began the third week in June.
The topics covered include boating safety, wading safety, and firearms safety. The need to obtain weather reports and preparing appropriately further emphasized the special attention to safety duck hunting requires.
Hunting skills taught included the basics of duck identification, blind placement, concealment, decoys and decoy spreads. Wilbur brought his duck boat rig to the camp each week for hands-on instruction. Waterfowl migration routes and the wonders of the natural instincts that send birds on journeys of thousands of miles to winter in Florida were outlined. The young people were informed of the traditions of waterfowling with the very specific ethics of our sport. Education is important to insure our future companions in the marsh will be good stewards of the resource and sporting neighbors.
The FWC asks UW-F each year to conduct the seminar. Members are welcome to volunteer and help with this important event. Participation in these summer camps is just one more example of how membership in UW-F can make duck hunting a year-round activity.