(Rob Friedel, Avery Outdoors Pro Staff) Today we’ve got the Avery Youth Pro staffers out and so what we are going to do is take them on a hunt and hopefully they are going to teach you how to shoot today. (adam) I need it. (laughs)
The scene looked like something out of the Alaskan outback, not the shores of the Great Salt lake, as the temperature gauge read a balmy 7 degrees as we got set for our late season duck hunt.
It’s so cold the cable that controls the rudder on Noble’s airboat is frozen solid. A little Macgyver ingenuity and we’re off.
(rob) You guys clear? (boys) Yup.
(nat of driving airboat)
(Rob) the majority of birds we’ll shoot today are going to be teal and spoon bills. You can still find your mallards, pintails and canvasbacks in the open water in the back water. For the most part on the GSL we’ll shoot teal and spoonbills today.
Key to finding birds this time of year is finding open water. So, we travel over snow and ice to the edge of the Great Salt Lake where the rest of our crew is setting up.
(airboat shuts down, at set up) (rob) it’s still sticking dude. (josh) is it. (chad) we just thought it was your first time driving an airboat. (laughs)
(kelton Fridel showing Zach) Ok so what you want to do is see how we’ve got bunch of sillo and empty spaces. All that you really do is, push it in. Nice and easy dude.
The Avery Youth Field Staff is comprised of kids from across the West. Kelton is from Hooper, brothers Kole and Kam traveled down from Idaho. Together the three of them will be mentoring 12 year old Zach Anderson, son of Camp Chef’s very own Matt Anderson. Zach is experiencing his first season of waterfowl hunting.
(kelton) so what you want to do, pull your bag back here so you can use it as a pillow.
(Kam Lane, Avery Youth Field Staff) it’s an honor to be on it and I think you need to represent it well by you know by being a good sportsman, showing respect for the animals and being some…well someone you would want to represent your business with.
(Kole Lane, Avery Youth Field Staff) It’s important to me. I like Avery a lot and I had a couple of guys that got me on the staff and put a word in for me and I’m glad I did, it’s awesome.
(Chad) Shoot straight boys.
(Chad Yamane, Avery Youth Field Staff Manager) this is kind of a reward for these kids at the end of the year for being on the Avery Youth Field Staff. Avery picks up this tab, brings them out and lets them hunt for a weekend. It’s just thanks to them for mentoring other kids and getting kids actively involved in the sport.
Kam and Kole have hunted nearly 50 days this year.
nat Kole calling
Kole is also an accomplished caller.
Placing 5th in the Junior World goose calling Championship that was held in Maryland back in November. These boys are as good as any adult I’ve ever hunted with.
(chad) he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with as he gets older.
(Adam) who’s the better shot you or your brother? (kole) it’s me by far. It’s not even close.
(Kam) No, I’ll take him behind the woodshed afterwards too. (laughs)
(cam shoots spoonbill)
The hunt is a bit slow, the guys keep telling us about huge flocks of teal that should be coming out of the north.
(chad with dog) “good dog kennel.”
So, the boys do what boys do and find fun playing on the ice.
While Matt cooks us a warm lunch.
(Matt Anderson, Camp Chef) this is our Rainer Camper combo. It actually comes with a grill and a griddle. So you can swap it out and cook breakfast in the morning, put the grill on and cook lunch like we are doing today. And it has an open burner. We are going to warm up some chili for the chili burgers. It’s kind of the perfect entry level Camp Chef stove.
(matt) Doesn’t take up a lot of space but definitely is going to cook for a lot of people.
and wouldn’t you know it, right in the middle of us stuffing our faces.
(Chad) Oh yeah look at them all. (adam) look at them all behind them too.
The birds start to fly, the boys run to the spread. The rest of our hunt in a moment, plus….
The Idaho boys go for twelve species in one day, including their quest for the canvasback, but first tonights Burt Brothers quiz question.
(Adam) food or no food he’s going back.
(Adam) well the boys know when to go hunting and the guys, yeah they know when to feed their face, look at them. (josh Noble, Avery Outdoors, Territory Manager) we are not dumb. (adam) look at Noble he’s in for seconds. (josh Noble), of course I’m a growing boy.
(adam) Now they are flying boys.
(Chad) Nice shooting buddy, you killed that one Zach.
(Great shot of birds coming) (chad) kill them! (birds fall)
(Chad) this is what we’ve been waiting for right here. (adam) all day long. (chad) you turn the switch on and here they come. (adam) wow. (chad) yeah it’s good, really good.
(Josh) what happened was it was bitter cold this morning it was 4 degrees, these ducks don’t want to move anymore than you do at four degrees, so what happens is when it starts to moderate, to the low 20’s, low 30’s, these ducks get a little more ansy and they’ll fly back into this fresh water edge. All of this water coming from the Wasatch Front is coming through. They are out on the GSL feeding on brine shrimp but they’ve still got to come back to fresh water and that’s where we are at.
(Chad) Kill them! (shots) (adam) Oh I got that on video! (laughs) (kam) that thing was right there.
(Chad) you guys whiff over there? (adam) right on camera! (kam) they come in from the sun and I get blinded. (chad) oh he’s making excuses. (kam) don’t be afraid to delete that.
(Josh) our Avery Field Staff which is what this youth are. They are a huge asset to Avery as a company because simply there are not a whole lot of other manufacturers that do this. Bottom line is that if we don’t foster the youth and get the youth excited about this sport we are going to loose it. And we are already starting to loose it with the video games and things of that nature so we’ve got to get them hooked on this hunting thing and there is no better way than getting them on the field staff and getting them out here, showing them a good time and letting them kill some ducks. (adam) and who better to be a mentor than another kid right? (josh) exactly, shoot it’s so much fun. really, really enjoy it.
(Adam) That was a little redemption right there. (kam) You can put that one on tv. (laughs) Ok.
(chad) ok see this single Zach right out front. Get ready, Zach is going to shoot this one. Ready! Shoot him Zach, shoot. (shot, falls) nice! (adam) nice job Zach. Woo!
(Matt Anderson, Proud Dad) that was awesome, especially to hear that 20 gauge going off and the call for Zach, that was cool.
(Adam) it was fun. (adam) yeah you did good. (zach) I did ok.
(Adam) Kids are done, now the boys get to play. (josh) well I don’t know big boys or not, but we are going to try and shoot a duck.
(Tag) (adam) Wow did that ever turn on. (kole) Yeah it was like a light switch. (adam) yeah pretty amazing, but you guys came here for one reason right? (kole) Yeah to get a big bull Canvasback. (adam) that’s up next tomorrow right? (kole) Yeah we will try and get one tomorrow.
(Kam) Get in the blind! (kole) there is a cinnamon teal drake, Get ready, get ready, there’s a cinnamon teal.
[CG :2 LineUp Next A quest for the “can” or Blizzard of wings!]
(Adam) We’ll have that here in a moment, but first lets head back to the guys at Fish Tech for tonights Fishing Report.
(Chad Yamane, Avery Youth Field Staff Manager) All the birds were stacked right here this morning, we are just going to put a bunch of decoys right here and hope they suck into this open water right here. (adam) why do we think they’ll be back? (Chad) this is the only open water around right now. Ducks have to have water, find water, find ducks. (adam) so we had to hike in a ways. (Chad) we did, a good mile to get to this open water. (adam) and the goal? (Chad) Canvasbacks for the Idaho boys. They’ve never shot one before so it will be a first for them.
Heck, I’ve never shot a good bull can myself. The Canvasback is often referred to as the “king of ducks.” as it’s one of the largest diver ducks in North America and is also a favorite of many people who love to eat duck. Today a hunter may only bag one canvasback in Utah per day in part because the population of canvasbacks is still rebounding from a loss of breeding and wintering habitat in the late 80’s and early 90’s. The boys stuff their blinds and after a long walk are ready for some action.
(Tag) twelve species, how can you beat that? (kelton) I don’t think you can. (adam) Best hunt you’ve ever been on? (kole) One of the best, yeah. (adam) Alright it’s my best for sure. No doubt about it. You know get your kids out, involved in the outdoors. Check out Avery’s website, they have a great program for the youth and you get great kids like this mentoring other kids to get them outdoors. Coming up our ever popular snapshot of the week contest, but first tonights Utah Field Guide.