Young folks from all over Georgia will soon get a chance to take part in this year’s youth squirrel hunt, an opportunity for 10-17 year-olds to explore the Dawson Forest with a law enforcement officer.
Sponsored by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Amicalola Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, the hunt —which is fully booked —begins Saturday afternoon.
DNR law enforcement officer Jason Roberson said “it’s a fun hunt, with a lot of action for the kids.”
Those young people who sent in an application earlier this year to join the group Saturday will get to practice when they arrive, shooting skeet with .22 rifles. Volunteers teach safety with weapons before the hunt begins.
The wild turkey federation provides lunch, and then the group moves on into the woods, guided by squirrel dogs.
“You walk and talk, and you get to watch the dogs work,” Roberson said. “Everybody likes to watch the dogs work.”
Roberson added that the goal of the yearly gathering is “to try and provide an opportunity for kids that otherwise might not have the opportunity to be introduced to the outdoors. We try to get kids out there, so they can see what it’s like.”
Young people may submit an essay to Roberson several months before the hunt each year.
“I ask them to describe to me why they wish to come on a squirrel hunt, and it gives them a chance to put pen to paper ... so they get a little education out of it as well.
“It’s a really enjoyable day,” Roberson added. “Kids have a big time with it.”