Story by Jon Dinan
ACIDALIA On Saturday, October 13, the four winners of the third annual Sullivan County Democrat Youth Hunt essay contest gathered at Delaware River Labradors Upland Hunts in Acidalia, NY. to participate in a pheasant hunt. They also won small game vests, ammo for the day, and lunch. The winners were: reigning contest winner, Austin Zweck; Austin Duffy; and brothers, Colin and Hunter Flynn.
The day was sunny, and cool. “It was a perfect October day,” said Mike Bachkosky, owner of Delaware River Labradors and Delaware River Labradors Upland Hunts.
Bachkosky served as the hunting guide, and preceded each hunt with a safety talk and explained how everyone should proceed. After the tutorial, birds were released and the morning hunt began.
The two Austins, Zweck and Duffy, began the day with their guests. Zweck hunted with his brother Ryan and was accompanied by his dad, Tom. Duffy’s father Pat also went along to keep his son company. The morning participants showed their skill by bagging eleven out of twelve birds released for them.
“It was a bit wet early, but the birds flew well and the hunters did their jobs,” said Bachkosky.
Hunt participants then gathered for lunch at around 11 a.m. to relax and refuel. The boys from the morning session relayed tales of a successful hunt to the afternoon group, increasing their anticipation.
The Flynn brothers, accompanied by their parents Bob and Colleen, would finally take their shots after their meal and another dozen birds were planted. The afternoon game birds were at times inclined to run rather than fly, but the afternoon tally was still very respectable as the Flynn boys knocked down 10 pheasants out of a possible dozen.
“The dogs did their jobs well, locating, pointing and retrieving every bird dropped by Hunter, Colin, and their dad.” said Bachkosky.
“We would like to thank all the sponsors from our community who help put on this event every year,” Bachkosky noted. “Thanks also to Pheasant Hill Birds for the quality pheasants they provided and to Craig Stewart for doing some of the running.”
Sponsoring the event was: The Sullivan County Democrat; Delaware River Labradors; the Sportsman’s Den; Matthew Frieda Realty; Mike Preis Insurance; Delaware Valley Farm & Garden; Callicoon Supply; Rod’s Taxidermy; Roche’s GMC; Buddenhagen Ford; Roeder Appraisal; Kohler Lumber; The Sullivan County Sportsmen’s Federation; and Southern Tier Title.