Earlier in the year, the South East branch of the Australian Deer Association held their annual junior balloted hunt weekend. Nine SE Branch members volunteered their time to show four keen Victorian juniors and their fathers a good weekend away, exploring some of the country in which we are lucky enough to be able to hunt on in South Australia.
On the Friday of the allocated weekend, successful applicants arrived at the hut throughout the day. It was important for them to get there early, as they would be required to undergo a proficiency test before hunting could begin. Each junior hunter had to put three shots into a 20 cm circle with the rifle they were planning to use for the weekend. After that was completed it was time to pair up hunters with their guides, and to designate hunting areas ready for an early start the next morning.
Dave Rethus guided young Madeline on to a nice red yearling and she was successful in harvesting the animal; well done!
John ‘Yogi’ McCartney, the master hunter, was to guide Bree, and she was successful in harvesting a fallow doe and a good ‘cull’ fallow buck.
Lee Osman and Duane Stanyer teamed up to guide Lachlan. Young Lachy was successful in taking a good cull fallow buck on the last day – well done Lachy!
Alex Ross paired up with Nick and was successful in harvesting a fallow doe and a cull buck also, well done to hunter and guide.
Thankfully the weather was a lot kinder than last year, but hunters still had the challenges of swirling winds and farm stock to compete with at times, but with experienced guides the young hunters took some little hints on board and it was pleasing that each were successful in harvesting deer. The weekend couldn’t have gone smoother or been as good without the help of Baz, Drewy, Wardy and Slobber around camp, and all the guides mentioned above. Cheers to Darryl Panther also for popping in and giving each hunter one of his books, that was great!
I would like to thank all the parents who made the trip down south to give your kids an opportunity to hunt with us. It was a great weekend that I personally enjoyed, and as parents you should all be very proud as all kids had great manners and were a pleasure to spend time with. We look forward to doing the same thing next year and hope to have a lot of new faces and keen young hunters to show around.
Editors note: The junior ballot is a great initiative by the SE members of ADA and they are to be congratulated for their efforts in supporting these young hunters who, afterall, are the future of our sport. The junior ballot is open to any ADA member between 14 and 17 years of age. More information about the ADA can be found HERE.