KSL Outdoors: 2nd annual Avery Youth Waterfowl blast

(Intro) Welcome to KSL Outdoors, I’m Adam Eakle. One of the most exciting times of the year is finally here and that’s the waterfowl season. But before the big guns hit the field, the young guns get their chance with the youth waterfowl hunt. You ask, why are we sitting outside of Famous Dave’s BBQ here in Layton? Well they are fueling the boys and girls up before they hit the marsh.

(Rob Friedel, Avery Outdoors) Hey you guys ready to eat? Let’s go.

(Rob) Famous Dave’s has been working with us.

(Rob) every year they sponsor the kids, get them fed, get their parents to come out and get to experience a great hunt tomorrow and they are just a good steward to the community you know.

(Josh Noble, Avery Outdoors Territory Manager) We are here with the second annual Avery Youth Waterfowl blast, we are getting ready to set up, getting the kids fed this evening and then we are going to head out on the water first thing in the morning.

Each year the DWR sets aside one day of 107 day waterfowl season just for kids 15 and younger. Parents aren’t allowed to hunt but are there to help the kids and teach them the ways of the marsh. For Janelle and Kordell, this will be their first real duck hunt.

(Mike Slater, Janelle’s dad) No gunning for me, I just want to watch her shoot.

(Adam) what are you looking forward to tomorrow? (janelle Slater) The airboat ride is going to be tons of fun.

(Kordell Hutchinson, Youth Hunter) I’m shooting ducks and I think I’m going to get a lot. I hope so. (adam) maybe even get a goose? (Kordell) yeah.

(Nate Hutchinson, Kordell’s dad) We like to hunt big game together and we like to hunt pheasants but this will be the first time that we’ve gone out on an airboat and actually gone after some ducks together.

(Josh Noble) if we don’t foster and get the youth excited about this sport we are going to end up loosing it. so the more people that we can involve with this sport, the better off we are.

(Rob Friedel, Avery Outdoors) This is the biggest learning experience for youth waterfowl hunters that you can have in this state.

(Chad Yamane, Avery Outdoors) There is you a package Kaitlyn.

After Famous Dave’s fed the kids, Avery outfitted them, hats, coats, the kids are set.

(Kelton) Thank you. (chad) Now let’s go hunting. Yeah…

(Adam) You excited? (kordell) yup. (adam) did you sleep much last night? (kordell) nope.

(Josh) Ok who’s ready. ok we’ve one person, oh two, good.

Kordell and Janelle are getting treated to not only a fun airboat ride, but a beautiful morning as Josh negotiates the marsh of the Great Salt Lake. Rob and Chad are ahead of us, setting up the spread. We arrive, get the kids into the blind and wait for legal shooting time.

(Chad, Safety Instruction) You’ve only got a zone of about 45 degrees, so don’t go shooting over anybody heads. Don’t swing in front of them. A bird life is not worth one of your life. So we just want to be safe. If you don’t think you can make the shot, if you think there is something wrong, there probably is. Use your first instinct ok.

(Dads) left gunner, you guys ready on your left. (boys jump up and shoot and miss) (dads) woo, woo. hey let’s wait until we call the shots. (josh off cam) I like the enthusiasm.

The kids are a bit anxious, they settled down and soon were shooting like pros.

(dads) Right there. (shots) there he is good job. (kelton) dude, Gunner knocked him.

(Adam) Good job Teal.

(Rob) shoot him, let someone on the right shoot him. (shot) SHoot him again, (shot) Nice job, got him. good job Janelle.

(Mike Slater) I was just amazed at how many ducks we actually saw flying, that was kind of fun and these guys are talking like there is no ducks. It was a whole lot different than I’ve ever experienced. It was neat.

(Janelle laughing) (mike) “you did it!”

(Rob) what kind of duck is that? (Kelton) Spoonbill…or? shoveler? Or? big lip I don’t know. (rob) smiling mallard. (laughs)

(Adam) is that all you’ve got, one shot? there were two birds out there Kelton? (kelton) if they get closer I can double them. (adam) oh ok….(laughs)

For three years I’ve watched Kelton grow up in the marsh. His dad Rob has spent a lot of time with him outdoors and I’d bet they’d say they are both, better off because of it.

(Rob) take your kids hunting and you are not going to have to hunt for them.

(Kelton Friedel, Avery Youth Mentor) you learn a lot and then you get to help the other kids and say hey here is what you need to do. here’s why you do it.

Up next it’s the girls turn

(Rob) Shoot them! (shots) There you go, good job.

and a preview of the remaining 106 days of the waterfowl season. That just ahead, but first tonight quiz question as we test your waterfowl knowledge.


(Mike off camera) “Coming our way from the left, can you see them?”

(Rob) “kill him!” (shots and drop two) “Get him, get him, good job.”

It’s a good thing the kids have plenty of shells and that Josh has brought his dog Teal to find the birds that fall in the phrag.

(Josh Noble Avery Outdoors, Territory Manager) Next time right here somewhere…(laughs)

(Josh Noble) As you’ve seen today we just don’t have the water that we had last year. where we are standing right now, last year was every bit of 8 inches to a foot taller in water. The duck forecast is exponentially good coming out of Canada but we just don’t have any water for these ducks to go to. It’s going to be tough, tough year for sure.

The Great Salt Lake is much lower than it was last year, that includes Willard Spur and the Bear River Bird Refuge. The spur and the refuge will get more water once the irrigation season ends, but because many of the areas were dry this summer, less food will be available for the birds this fall. The bright spot, is the state’s WMA’s.

(Jason Jones) Farmington Bay is looking good, Ogden Bay is looking good, public shooting grounds has most of their ponds full. Salt Creek WMA is looking good. I’ve heard the refuge is having trouble filling their ponds. So i think they just need to spread out between our state WMA and do their best.

(Jason Jones, Assistant Manager Farmington Bay WMA) duck numbers here at Farmington Bay have been excellent. The census we did last week we were over about 150,000 ducks. 1/3 of the ducks are pintails and most of the other birds are shovelers, mallards, wigeon, gadwall.

(Jason Jones) With water conditions being dry outside of our marsh. I think a lot of the birds have sucked into our area.

(rob) Kill them! (shots) Yeah!”

(Kaitlyn Nelson, West Haven Hunter) it’s harder to go against the adults because they’ve been doing it longer. it’s nice that Avery comes with us to help us so. Really appreciate them.

(Rob) “shoot them!” (shots) Oh she got him.

(Kaitlyn) some girls think it’s just for boys and it’s not. even though, some think it’s gross but it’s really not. you just get out here, don’t even get that dirty. (adam) and it’s fun. (kaitlyn) yeah it’s way fun. love it.

(Rob) cut him, cut him (shots and hit) woo nelly. (Kelton) who was that? (rob) it looked like Janelle over there.

(Janelle Slater) My first ducks (adam) ever? (janelle) Yeah. (adam) what did you think? (Janelle) it was tons of fun, yeah.

(nate Hutchingson) this was more fun than me going hunting. i would much rather go and see him get some shots, than i would ever. so, this was a perfect day, it was awesome. I can’t thank these guys enough for bringing us out.

(Rob) get this one right over top of us. (shots and bird falls) (Mike) there we go! (rob) good shot Kordell! woo, baby!

(Kordell) That was awesome.

(Mike Slater) the girls love it. they really do. (adam) no different than the boys they should be out here. (mike) and it’s not something that I’m making them do. it’s something that they really want to do. you come out and do something like this and it’s fun. it really is.

(Gunner Erickson, Roy) (adam) some of those girls shot pretty good. (Gunner) oh yeah. (adam) you like seeing those girls out in the marsh? (gunner) OH YEAH….

(Rob) cut them. cut them. (shots and miss) (rob) that was the best shot of the day. (laughs)

(Tag) well Rob definitely a success, the kids got some shooting, took some ethical shots, learned some valuable lessons and had a good time. (rob) yeah anytime we can come out on the water, like Doug Miller used to say have a little mud in you blood, it’s just a great day that we can get out here and do this, we are really fortunate. (adam) passing on the tradition. (rob) definitely, passing on the tradition we’ve got another 106 days that we are able to go out and do it again. (adam) get your family, your friends, maybe even your neighbor that has never hunted before, take him out and let him experience a little bit of the marsh. Lets head back to Salt Lake now to the guys at Fish Tech for tonights Fishing Report.


(Tonya Kieffer, DWR/KSL Outdoors Coorospondant) Welcome back to KSL Outdoors, I’m Tonya Kieffer. I’m here today with Jeff, whose, Jeff what are we doing here
? (Jeff) Well we’re here today for the Utah Waterfowl Association Youth Fair. We’re here today to introduce children to waterfowl hunting. Alot of people and alot of activities out here, just to introduce kids to wetlands, wetland ecology, and just what waterfowl hunting is all about.

Hundreds of kids, their parents and the Utah Waterfowl Association were on hand for this years 8th annual youth waterfowl fair held at Farmington Bay Wildlife Management Area.

(Bret Wonnacott, Utah State Duck Calling Champion) Today we are loosing our kids to the Xbox and all the urban stuff, and we’d sure like to see em get out and get involved in the outdoors.

(Bret calls) Just tut, tut, tut, give it a try.”

Bret was there to instruct the kids on how to properly blow a duck call. Cody King then had the chance to listen and coach the kids through a duck calling contest.

(Bret) I get in front of these kids….and they are all just practicing their call and all of a sudden you get one thats really good and thats a lot of fun. Today there was a kid who had a nasty little feed call and I just loved it.

The kids had a chance to learn how to set up a decoy spread, take a mud boat ride and everyone had a opportunity to take something home with them.

(Jeff) We are offering lots of prizes, so every kid that comes out here will walk away with something, whether it’s decoys. We are giving away shotguns, kids are having a blast. the one that has been really popular is the airboat rides.

(Craig Dangerfield, Grew up hunting Farmington WMA) “It’s a heritage, It’s a, it’s a…my father brought, brought me here, for my first duck hunt, and uh, it’s just memories, ya know, I’ll never forget and I just want my grandkids to see that and my children.

(Kaitlin Mitchell, Youth hunter) We come here every year as a family, and I’m kinda prepping to go hunting with my dad next week.

Several groups have come together to make this youth fair happen. The Utah Waterfowl Association, Avery, Camp Chef, Delta Waterfowl, Lake Bonneville Layout Boats, Tracy Aviary, the Utah Airboat Association, the Utah Bass Federation, the Utah Bow Fishing Association, the Utah Mud Motor Association, and the Division of Wildlife Resources. All these groups know that without events like this, we loose our hunting heritage.

(David Mitchell, Brought his kids) If you don’t discover it your missing out. There’s so much beauty out here. When you get to know ducks, there’s such a diversity. We have some of the most beautiful birds around. It can’t help but motivate you to participate in it and get involved in the conservation efforts and enjoy what’s in our own backyard. A lot of times we travel long distances to see fancy stuff, but we don’t realize how awesome it is right here. Some of there greatest times I’ve had with my dad and my kids are out in the waterfowl marsh, sunsets going down, birds coming down in the decoys. Good talks all day. It’s just, it’s awesome. Waterfowl hunting is one of the best family sports their is.

(Craig) This is a, a great thing they’ve done for the youth here. It’s all about the kids. It’s not for the grown ups. I’m just proud to be part of it.

(Tonya Kieffer) Well guys this has been a really successful youth event. As you can see, the kids turned out. It’s been just awesome. I think that they learned alot, and I hope that they take something away from it.

(Tonya Kieffer) And now for tonights Utah field guide.

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