Sharon Space-Bamberger | Democrat
SIBLINGS AUDREY BULLARO, center, Darien Bullaro, left, and Jasmine Bullaro gather their equipment for archery practice. Their grandfather, Butch Decker, signed them up for the Sullivan County Archers Youth Camp.
Sullivan County Archers hold 2009 Youth Camp
By Sharon Space-Bamberger
BETHEL On Friday, July 10, Saturday, July 11 and Sunday, July 12, the Sullivan County Archers held their 2009 Youth Camp at the Sullivan County Conservation Club.
Eighteen youth attended the free event, which was sponsored by the New York State Bow Hunters Association.
Generous donations from local sports-minded organizations, including the Federation of Sportsman’s Clubs of Sullivan County, helped the Bow Hunters Association offer the event without cost to the youngsters.
During the sleepover camp, 15 boys and three girls between the ages 8 and 18 practiced archery techniques and learned bow hunting rules and regulations from several instructors. Those instructors included Sullivan County Archers President Harry Walker, turkey caller and hunter Herb DeWitt of Grahamsville and New York State Department of Conservation (DEC) Officer Rick Wood.
All attendees received their Bow Hunters Education Certificate of Qualification. The certification will allow them to bow hunt in New York State when they are age 14 or older while accompanied by a parent or guardian.
“Everybody slept in the clubhouse and they all behaved themselves,” said Sullivan County Conservation Club President Aaron Finley, who is also a member of the Sullivan County Archers. “We did not have any rowdy kids. We all ate well, including two kinds of venison chili.”
Butch Decker signed up his three grandchildren 15-year-old Audrey Bullaro, 11-year-old Darien Bullaro and 8-year-old Jasmine Bullaro for the camp. The parents of Audrey, Darien and Jasmine are Decker’s daughter, Wendy, and her husband Frank Bullaro.
“I learned archery from my father and I’ve been shooting targets for two years,” Audrey Bullaro said. “I use my brother’s bow, but I plan to get my own.”
DEC Officer Wood, who is a bow hunter himself, was a big hit with the young campers. He taught bow hunting rules and regulations and told anecdotes to illustrate his points.
When speaking about illegal baiting of game, he said, “We know about a man who baits game and we know the locations of over 30 bags of donuts and bagels he’s put out. We’re ready for him.”
Wood also advised the boys and girls to “just practice your archery, don’t ever stop, do it all year around.
“It’s a big challenge and different from hunting with a rifle,” he added. “Practice is very important.”
The attendees were taught to respect the rights of landowners and learned the National Bow Hunters Creed, which includes the words, “I will abide by current game regulations and at all times conduct myself as a sportsman.”