By Sharon Space-Bamberger
BETHEL On July 8th, twenty boys and girls ages 11-15 received their Bowhunter Safety Certificates at the conclusion of a three-day sleepover archery camp at the Sullivan County Conservation Club. The youngsters hope to bag the big bucks and turkeys described by their NYS DEC certified Bowhunter Education Safety instructors.
The camp was co-sponsored by the Sullivan County Archers, the Sullivan County Conservation Club and the New York Bowhunters. There was no cost to participants who received lessons in arrow making, handling a bow, tracking and most important of all, sportsmanship and safety. Everyone enjoyed camp style meals and slept in sleeping bags in the clubhouse.
One of the archery instructors was Herb Dewitt of The Sullivan County Federation of Sportsmen, an Honorary Life Member of the Sullivan County Archers who has shared his knowledge of turkey hunting at the youth camps for at least a decade. Dewitt, a turkey call maker since 1973 and a turkey hunter long before that, told the youngsters, “We are going to have a little talk on turkeys.”
The children listened raptly to Dewitt’s presentation. At the end he gave each youngster a turkey call he had crafted for them and a stern reminder, “Do not use these during your lessons or tonight after lights out.”
Harry Walker of the Sullivan County Archers prepared to teach the youngsters tracking as a welcome summer rain pelted down. One youngster protested, “We’re not going to track in the rain are we?” Walker gave the boy a Clint Eastwood look, “You hunt in the rain don’t you?”
Receiving their Bowhunter Safety Certificates were: Gregory Newman, Davien Stevers, Jennifer Davila, John Shorten, Joseph Shorten, Brianna Fischer, Jonathon Gavilanes, Benjamin Sawyer, Cameron Depew, Nathaniel Edwards, Ashley Kennedy, Austin Shaver, Allen Ward, Andrew Kenyon, Jordon Dorn, Ryan Katz, William Hultslander, Sabastian Bonanza, Nathaniel De Paul, Juan Dendariarena and Ramon Dendariarena.