Ducks Unlimited calls in young flock
May 25, 2016
Brothers Josh and Blaze Czyz destroyed three out of four clay pigeons as they soared across the P&K Ranch field on Saturday.
The Czyzs were two of nearly 60 youth at the 2016 Wally Adams Carson Valley Youth Day sponsored by Ducks Unlimited.
"I enjoy shooting because it feels like duck hunting," 9-year-old Blaze said. "I like the other stuff, but this is the best part. I also learned how to fly fish."
Mom, Tammi, also learned a new skill Saturday. She mastered how to use a duck whistle.
"I think I did pretty good," she said. "Anything the kids can learn about hunting, fishing and nature is good. The more hunters, the better conservation. Unfortunately, people don't realize that."
Event namesake and founder Wally Adams is a fourth-generation Carson Valley resident and Genoa cattle rancher.
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"I've always wanted to have something like this, and get the kids interested. There's more to life than computers," the 68-year-old said. "If we don't get kids interested in hunting and fishing, it's going to be a lost art. This is a free event that the kids enjoy and the parents have fun, too."
The Nevada Department of Wildlife displayed a wall of shame to promote their secret witness program. The display included mounted deer, sheep, bobcat, antelope and mountain lion.
"All these animals were poached, and we posted this to promote Operation Game Thief," Game Warden Jim Gunnell said. "We can't do it ourselves. We rely on the public to help us out. I don't think we'll ever completely stop poaching, but we want to put a dent in it."
According to Gunnell, poaching is an E felony punishable by jail time. Poachers may also lose their hunting license or weapons.
"Poaching is wrong," he added. "If you see something, report it."
To report poaching, call 1-800-992-3030.
Although Travis Moore, 8, didn't hit the target he was aiming for, he still enjoyed shooting the wrist rocket.
"It was great," he said. "I hit zero targets. I had a slingshot once, and accidentally shot my sister."
Gardnerville resident Jaxin Daniels volunteered at the wrist rocket station.
"I like the outdoors," he said. "I hunt geese and deer. Learning about hunting keeps kids' minds on good things."
Annika White, 10, caught her first fish Saturday at the fly fishing station.
"I wanted to try it because it looked cool swinging it back and forth. I'll do it again," the Corning, Calif. resident said. "I also painted a duck head and I got a duck call. I learned that a Mallard duck has a green head and white band around his neck."
At the archery range, 11-year-olds Camden Miller and Abbi Girdner tried their skills with a bow and arrow.
"It's not too hard," Camden said. "I'd rather shoot a bow and arrow than a gun because it's easier for me."
"This gets you away from the internet and electronics," Abbi said of the event. "This shows you the real world that God made for us to enjoy."
Carson City resident Bill Ehni brought his two young granddaughters, Kaylyn and Autum to the event. The 10-and-8-year-olds were especially interested in the archery ranger.
"This is great," Ehni said. "The girls are excited about it. They are interested in hunting. I think they get that from me."
Ducks Unlimited member Ed Cavanaugh helped the guests steady their pellet guns on targets down range. As the wind started to pick up, hitting the targets became more difficult.
"This is all about having fun and safety and learning the experience of being responsible," Cavanaugh said. "You see a lot of first-time shooters, and a lot of people who know what they're doing."
The Minden resident had his wife, his twin sons and two of their friends with him.
"This is a good program," wife Lenore said. "There's a lot of hunters around here and the kids need to learn safety. It's nice to see the dads out here helping and teaching the next generation."
Douglas High School senior Emmett Robinson showed the kids how a wood duck nesting box worked.
The soon-to-be high school graduate grew up hunting around Carson Valley.
"It's nice getting the younger generation involved," he said. "It's also nice remembering when I was that age, and seeing other kids interested in hunting. This event is awesome. They get away from electronics, and out of the house to experience something where they live."
Caleb Apple has been hunting small game for, "as long as I can remember."
He graduated to large game two years ago when he passed his hunters safety test.
"I like going out where the animals are," he said of hunting. "Whether we succeed in the hunt or not, it's still fun."
As for the event, the Gardnerville Ranchos teenager said he enjoyed the guns and archery the most.
"I love it," he added.
The purpose of Carson Valley Youth Day is the educate young people about the importance of marsh habitat and activities associated with the sport of duck and goose hunting and other outdoor activities.
Other stations included virtual hunting, decoy painting and duck calling. The Masonic Lodge served a barbecue lunch. For more information, visit the Carson Valley Ducks Unlimited's Facebook page.