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Youngsters enjoy 2006 QDMA National Youth Hunt

By: QDMA Staff

Imagine being 13 and getting to take your first-ever deer with a three-time Olympic Medallist AND your Dad at your side! Lori McCain, of Pennock, Minn., IS that 13-year-old. She was part of the 2006 QDMA National Youth Hunt, which was Nov. 11-14 at The Fork Farm in Norwood, N.C.

Lori took a doe during the afternoon hunt on Nov. 13. Olympic Gold Medallist shooter Kim Rhode guided Lori.

Travis Wagner, 15, of Powhatan, Va., also took his first-ever deer – a doe – during the morning hunt on Nov. 13. Tim Bloodworth, promotions manager of Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in Concord, N.C., guided Travis.

Both deer were mature does that weighed 113 pounds (Lori’s) and 114 pounds (Travis'), respectively.Lori and Travis got to share their memorable hunts with their fathers, Mike McCain and Terry Wagner, who accompanied them and their guides on the hunts. All the parents got to join the hunters and their guides.

Seven youngsters, nominated by QDMA Branches around the country, participated in the 2006 QDMA National Youth Hunt, including Nathan Colwell, 15, of Pryor, Okla., nominated by the Eastern Oklahoma Branch; Nicholas D’Ottavio, 15, of Vineland, N.J., nominated by the Southern New Jersey Branch; Robert Goodnight, 11, of Fuquay Varina, N.C., nominated by the Cape Fear River Branch; Lori, nominated by the West Central Branch; Jessica O’Keefe, 9, of Nashville, Mich., nominated by the Barry County Branch, the 2006 QDMA Branch of the Year; Mason Tippins, 12, of Guyton, Ga., nominated by the Savannah River Branch; and Travis, nominated by the Central Virginia Branch.

Hunters and their parents arrived Nov. 11, spending that evening and Nov. 12 in seminars that introduced them to a variety of outdoor activities. Each of them received gear and accessories donated by 180 Energy Drink, Bass Pro Shops, Bushnell, Hunter’s Specialties, Magellan, Mossy Oak Camo, MPI Outdoors, Polar Wrap, The Outdoor Channel, Summit Treestands, Vortex Optics, and Smith & Wesson.

Seminars included instruction on Quality Deer Management and the QDMA; hunting and shooting safety, including clay bird shooting with shotguns and sighting in of the .243 rifles they used during the hunt; hunter ethics; using GPS with the Magellan handheld GPS units they each received; and outdoor photography with the Bushnell digital outdoor cameras they each received. They also got a chance to learn about deer biology and proper handling of harvested game during the dressing and processing of Travis' doe.

After the morning hunt on Nov. 13, Kim talked to the group about her experiences as a three-time Olympic medallist, and she demonstrated the shotgunning talents that have helped her earn two Olympic Gold medals and a Bronze. She then let every youngster enjoy the thrill of shooting clay birds with the Perazzi shotgun she uses in competition.

In addition to donating caps and shirts for all the hunters, The Outdoor Channel made it possible for Kim to be a part of the 2006 National Youth Hunt. She co-hosts the TOC program “Step Outside” with Doug Painter of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

About the photo: Kim Rhode (left) guided Lori McCain, 13, of Pennock, Minn., during the 2006 QDMA National Youth Hunt, Nov. 11-14 at The Fork Farm, in Norwood, N.C. Lori took her first whitetail during the afternoon hunt on Nov. 13.f