This past weekend we had the great honor of attending the second annual Youth Hunting Camp put on by some of our friends Randy and Candy Yow. They also run Ladies Hunting Camps and are professional hunters. This camp is designed to engage with our youth and to teach them the traditions that have been passed down for generations. This was a great opportunity for families from all over Oregon and Washington to get off of the grid to enjoy the great outdoors. The Yows’ own a pretty spectacular ranch just outside of Fort Rock, OR. Every year they play host to a few different camps. The one that we attended was designed for our youth. We had the ability to teach our Kids Firearm Safety 1 Class on the first night of camp and then were off to the range for the next few days to work with the youth with rifles.
What is really great about Youth Hunting Camp is how there is a good mixture of age and experience levels with firearms. This gave us the ability work with more experienced youth with centerfire rifles, which they would use the the go out into the field hunting. Some had shot a rifle before and some that had never had the chance. While we primarily focus our training in our standard Kids Firearm Safety 2 with rimfires. The heavier caliber rifles offer the same safety principles, techniques, and the only difference is the recoil. This can be a problem for some of the younger, inexperienced shooters. This helps us work with them on recoil management. One thing that we make sure is that the kids don’t get up on the rifle too close to the optic. If they get too close the recoil pushes the scope back into their face and this could ruin their experience. We want everyone be safe and have an enjoyable time. Another difference with this type of rifle is the report, it can be very loud and it takes greater concentration from the youth to ensure their shots go where they want them to go.
On the range we had the ability to transition from the heavier centerfire rifles back to our CZ 457 rimfires for the younger kids. Our favorite part was how we were able to start close and work our way out to longer ranges as they got more comfortable with the process. When we are working with the kids it is really important to instill discipline and repetition, it helps reinforce the skills that help keep everyone safe. Once they got the process down we pushed the targets out to 100 yards. At that range we changed to steel targets. It was really fun to watch the dust kick up if they missed. The sound the steel makes when the 22 caliber bullet hits it was awesome. Towards the end of the class, we had a young girl go 9 out of 10 at 100 yards on a 6” gong! It was impressive to watch and is a testament to the high quality rifles that we use. This helps make the process easier for the kids. You could really tell from the smiles on their faces, that they were having fun. When they have fun they will remember the experience longer and will reinforce all of the important skills that they were taught.
What we really enjoyed about the past weekend is how the Youth Hunting Camp was focused on the next generations. Focused on traditions that have been part of this country for a very long time. There was no screens and the kids were busy being kids. It was fun just to watch kids playing, socializing, and using their imaginations. It reminded me of my childhood, I left with a full heart and a sense of accomplishment. The card had dedicated team of volunteers and instructors that all came together for a really important cause. It’s just like everything that we do in the public, it’s all about the kids. We all ate well and were able get off of the grid for a few days. I do feel like this was one of the greatest parts. Being able to get away to a place with where cell coverage was limited. It was the recharge that we all needed. I was able to take my dog, Zoya. She is a big hit every year and I look forward to camping out with her. All in all it was a great experience and I look forward to next years camp! I highly encourage you all be on the look out for next year, this is a camp that is fun for the entire family. I want to give a special shoutout to everyone that gave of their time to make the difference in the lives of our children. I also want to thank all of the sponsors that helped make it all possible like Nosler, Weatherby, and our very own sponsor Aero Precision. You all are heroes to our kids. Until next time. Be safe!!