Fall is just beginning, and so has the start of duck hunting season, but not everyone has the experience for a successful hunt.
The Department of Natural Resources partners with the Mead Wildlife area near Stevens Point to put on a learn to hunt program taking first time waterfowlers out to educate the uneducated.
Ben Gruber says it's a good place to start, "It helps build a good foundation rather than just starting on their own, struggling through it, getting frustrated and quitting."
The program begins in the classroom teaching duck biology and identification. Then moves out into the field where the learning process jumps to how to scout land and set out decoys, but the first time hunters are gaining knowledge on much more than how to shoot ducks.
Richard Alwin, the father of one young hunter says his favorite part was accompanying his son was being in nature, "It was just fun to be out and not have to worry about computers and ipods and phones and whatever else it is. Just to be out in nature."
The program ends with a big meal of game meat, where the newcomers can share their first-time duck hunting experiences. Gruber says it's the most rewarding part, "Listening to them at the end of the day and hearing them swap stories and they're talking about how excited they were."
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