Aug. 5, 2011-- The Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association (LOWA) and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will recognize the two 2010 Youth Hunters of the Year at the 2011 LOWA Conference Awards Banquet in Houma on Aug. 6.
Thirteen-year-old Megan Boles of Provencal was selected as the 2010 Female Youth Hunter of the Year and 12-year-old Ben Broussard of Sulphur was selected as the 2010 Male Youth Hunter of the Year.Both young hunters submitted a story about their 2010-11 hunting season experience along with photographs of the hunt. LOWA and LDWF then selected the winners.
The Youth Hunter of the Year Program is part of the Louisiana Youth Hunter Registry Program that was initiated several years ago by both LOWA and LDWF to recognize the state’s youth hunters and encourage them to keep the hunting tradition alive in Louisiana. In addition to being recognized as the Youth Hunters of the Year, Megan and Ben received gift certificates from Bowie Outfitters in Baton Rouge. The other participants in the program received certificates recognizing their hunting achievements during the 2010 season and one individual will be selected by random drawing to receive a gift certificate from Bowie Outfitters.
Megan is the daughter of Charles and Kelly Boles and has grown up hunting with her dad. While she had hunted deer prior to the 2010 deer season, she had never bagged one with a muzzleloader. During the 2010 primitive firearm season, she harvested her first buck with a muzzleloader rifle on an afternoon hunt with her dad. Megan wrote that her dad has taught her all the safety tips and rules for hunting with a gun and even though she normally hunts with her .243 she was very comfortable with a “smoke pole” in her hands. She made a great 80-yard shoulder shot on a nice 8-pointer. Megan is also a successful turkey hunter and enjoys hunting with her dad, an accomplished turkey hunter. Megan said her dad “puts the turkeys to sleep on the roost and wakes them up in the mornings.” Megan loves to hunt with both mom and dad and has enough hunting savvy to hunt alone.
The Louisiana Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) is one of the sponsors of the Youth Hunters Program and Luke Lewis, regional biologist with the NWTF said, “The Louisiana Chapter is glad to support LOWA and LDWF with the Youth Hunter of the Year Program. Megan comes from a family that lives the outdoor lifestyle, with a mother and father who have dedicated their careers to conservation with the US Forest Service on the Kisatchie Ranger District. Both of them have been a big part of providing Megan with an appreciation for nature and the outdoors. On behalf of our 6,400 members of the LA Chapter, and our state board of directors, we congratulate Megan and know she will develop into a young conservationist with the appreciation of being a good steward of the land and its resources.”
Ben Broussard is the son of Jeanne and James Ed Broussard and made his first duck hunt with his dad during the 2010 Thanksgiving holidays. In his story, Ben also wrote about his dad and how safety conscious he was during the hunt. Bently, their black lab, shared the blind with the two hunters and did the work of retrieving the ducks. Ben killed a green wing teal with his first shot and later bagged a widgeon drake as it hovered over the spinning decoy. It was a great day for young Ben, his dad and Bently; the hunters brought home nine ducks, but more importantly, as Ben wrote, memories of a day he will never forget.
This is the first time that a duck hunter has been selected as the Youth Hunter of the Year and Ben has broken new ground for the program and hopefully will promote participation by other youth waterfowl hunters.
The Baton Rouge Chapter of Delta Waterfowl has been a sponsor of the program since day one. Jonathan Walker, chapter president, congratulated Ben on his achievement saying, “Ben represents the future of this sport in our great state of Louisiana.” He added, “Delta Waterfowl’s mission has always been to secure the future of waterfowl and waterfowl hunting and the BR Chapter is proud to have a part in this important program and supporting the next generation of hunters.”
LOWA and LDWF jointly recognize the important sponsorship support for the program provided by: The Bayou State Bowhunters Association, the South LA Branch of the Quality Deer Management Association, Bowie Outfitters in Baton Rouge, the Louisiana Wildlife Federation and Andrew Harrison with Harrison Law, LLC.
“Programs such as this could not be possible without the support of these organizations and individuals,” said Kenny Ribbeck, chief of the LDWF’s Wildlife Division. “Attracting youth to the sport of hunting has taken greater emphasis in our agency over the past decade as hunter numbers declined. Along with the Youth Hunter Registry Program, LDWF is currently launching a new program, the Louisiana Hunting Heritage Program, aimed at introducing the sport of hunting to any age individual through mentors. We will continue to provide these programs to insure that the rich hunting heritage in Louisiana continues.”
For more information about the Youth Registry and Hunter of the Year Programs, visit the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.state.la.us/hunting/youth-hunter-registry-program or contact Scott Durham at 225-765-2351 or firstname.lastname@example.org or David Moreland at 225-978-6552 or email@example.com .