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Mentoring 101: Understanding the Risks

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November 26, 2012

Mentoring 101: Understanding the Risks

By Dave Hurteau

All hunters have something important to share, and never before has it been more important for us to share it--with our kids, the neighbor’s kids, our nieces and nephews, anyone who wants in. But before you commit to mentoring a new hunter, you should understand that there are certain inherent risks, especially when dealing with the young…and fit.

This summer I outfitted my nephew Jeremy with everything he’d need to hunt deer in the fall. I nagged him to get his hunter-safety certification and to buy his license and tags. I taught him to shoot, etc.

After an exciting bow season, in which he didn’t get anything but had some close encounters, he joined my brother-in-law Geoff and me for our annual Thanksgiving rifle hunt. He saw three deer but couldn’t get a shot. At the end of the day, he got a little turned around, so he called Geoff's cell phone and described where he was. 

Geoff explained that he and I were standing in a large, swampy opening about 300 yards due straight east. Then we waited.

Ten minutes later, Jeremy called again, described where he was again, and Geoff explained that we were still about 300 yards away but now due straight south. And again, we waited. Meanwhile I started whistling and grunting loudly on a call, hoping Jer would hear me. Eventually, we spotted his blaze-orange hat bobbing above the alders maybe 50 yards away. We waved to him. He saw us. We motioned for him to come over. And then he disappeared. 

We waited. And waited. And were at a complete loss when Geoff's phone rang again.

“Hey Uncle Geoff, it’s Jeremy.”

“What happened to you?” Geoff asked.

“Well, I heard some grunting and walked toward the sound thinking it was you guys. But when I got close, I realized it was two other hunters.”

“Really?” said Geoff. “Let me ask you: Were they a couple of old, fat guys?”

Jeremy thought about this, “Yeah…yeah they were. Do you know them?”

“Of course I know them!” Geoff barked. “It was us! Now get back over here!”

 

Comments (15)

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from Koldkut wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

I was only half as bad as "Jeremy" about 10 years ago. 21 and hunting with guys in their late 30's and 40's.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

"He ain't heavy!...He's my brutha"

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jdwood wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

I'm sure he'll never live that one down

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

That's great

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

LOL. Are their a lot of old fat guys in that woods?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Young hunters can be so much fun.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nathan Ryver wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

We had a tragedy happen here a last week. A father and his 15 year old son seperated to hunt deer for their Thanksgiving feast. At the approproate time and place, the boy didn't show up. The State police were called and the search began. 4 days later his body was found in a rock quarry in the vicinity where they were hunting. Apparently, he just walked right off a 60 ft. cliff in the dark. I know this isn't the heart of the above story, but when I saw "risks" and the boy hunting, it just remeinded me. Know your hunting area, and be sure your partners know the area as well. Have a plan, and a plan B, and a Plan C if you get separated.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Yeah you outfitted your nephew with everything YOU thought he would need. You did not say exactly what those items were. For instance did you get him a compass, or a gps. YOU made some crical mistakes with your nephew. Knowledge is the key to teaching a young hunter. For one thing You should never leave a young hunter in a stange woods alone. YOU, should have taken him on a few trips to those woods before hunting season. Some people have no business trying to teach a young hunter and YOU are one of them.
Let me relate a shot story to you that happened a number of years ago. I was sitting in my tree stand on opeening day of the PA. deer season whn I saw a hunter plowing thru the woods. It was snowing heavily that day. A little while later (perhaps a half hour or so) I saw the same hunter come back. I had a feeling that this person was lost, so I yelled out to him and the hunter came to my location and indeed this person was lost. soaking wet suffering from hypothermia, and completely exhausted. As it turns out it was a young female hunter from Pittsburgh. She was about 8 MILES from where she was hunting with her uncle. Getting lost or TURNED AROUND IS A FRIGHTENING AFFAIR NOT A JOKE.
You, yourself need to learn how to instuct a young hunter. Sorry if I sound critical, but that's how tradgedies occur.

-5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Online Editors wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Deadeye. I gave him a GPS and a compass. We all had cell phones AND two-way radios. He was never out of shouting distance. He was never "left." He was walking alongside Geoff and veered of course. The property is surrounded by roads and houses. Nowhere on this piece is safety more than a half-hour walk in any direction.
He was never in any danger--just had a little trouble finding us is all.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Pathfinder1 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Hi...

I think that we all can learn something from the variety of posts above.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

In that case I deeply apolgize

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FSU70 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Well deadeye may have been wrong to accuse the author of being negligent about safety, he made some good points in general. Just like the young man who walked off the 60' cliff and fell to his death. If his father knew the woods, then he should have known the cliff was there and given the boy a flash light and compass. Or better yet walked him to his stand.
To many "new" inexperienced hunters get injured because they are not prepared or trained. Just often given a gun and told to go hunt. Many times what is called an accident is really premeditated carelessness.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from JustTakeMeHunting14 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

im not fat I'm festive

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Hurteau wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

No worries, Deadeye.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Drew McClure wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

I've got a story from the opening weekend. I was walking down a logging road with my 7 year old son. I kept motioning towards him to keep up with me as he lagged behind by around 40 feet. When I crossed bend in the road I jumped a fully mature mountain lion that was posted up in the brush right off the road awaiting supper I assume. I know first hand that there are mountain lions in Arkansas. Cheers.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Koldkut wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

I was only half as bad as "Jeremy" about 10 years ago. 21 and hunting with guys in their late 30's and 40's.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

"He ain't heavy!...He's my brutha"

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jdwood wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

I'm sure he'll never live that one down

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

That's great

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

In that case I deeply apolgize

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FSU70 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Well deadeye may have been wrong to accuse the author of being negligent about safety, he made some good points in general. Just like the young man who walked off the 60' cliff and fell to his death. If his father knew the woods, then he should have known the cliff was there and given the boy a flash light and compass. Or better yet walked him to his stand.
To many "new" inexperienced hunters get injured because they are not prepared or trained. Just often given a gun and told to go hunt. Many times what is called an accident is really premeditated carelessness.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Hurteau wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

No worries, Deadeye.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

LOL. Are their a lot of old fat guys in that woods?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Young hunters can be so much fun.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nathan Ryver wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

We had a tragedy happen here a last week. A father and his 15 year old son seperated to hunt deer for their Thanksgiving feast. At the approproate time and place, the boy didn't show up. The State police were called and the search began. 4 days later his body was found in a rock quarry in the vicinity where they were hunting. Apparently, he just walked right off a 60 ft. cliff in the dark. I know this isn't the heart of the above story, but when I saw "risks" and the boy hunting, it just remeinded me. Know your hunting area, and be sure your partners know the area as well. Have a plan, and a plan B, and a Plan C if you get separated.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Online Editors wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Deadeye. I gave him a GPS and a compass. We all had cell phones AND two-way radios. He was never out of shouting distance. He was never "left." He was walking alongside Geoff and veered of course. The property is surrounded by roads and houses. Nowhere on this piece is safety more than a half-hour walk in any direction.
He was never in any danger--just had a little trouble finding us is all.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Pathfinder1 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Hi...

I think that we all can learn something from the variety of posts above.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JustTakeMeHunting14 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

im not fat I'm festive

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Drew McClure wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

I've got a story from the opening weekend. I was walking down a logging road with my 7 year old son. I kept motioning towards him to keep up with me as he lagged behind by around 40 feet. When I crossed bend in the road I jumped a fully mature mountain lion that was posted up in the brush right off the road awaiting supper I assume. I know first hand that there are mountain lions in Arkansas. Cheers.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Yeah you outfitted your nephew with everything YOU thought he would need. You did not say exactly what those items were. For instance did you get him a compass, or a gps. YOU made some crical mistakes with your nephew. Knowledge is the key to teaching a young hunter. For one thing You should never leave a young hunter in a stange woods alone. YOU, should have taken him on a few trips to those woods before hunting season. Some people have no business trying to teach a young hunter and YOU are one of them.
Let me relate a shot story to you that happened a number of years ago. I was sitting in my tree stand on opeening day of the PA. deer season whn I saw a hunter plowing thru the woods. It was snowing heavily that day. A little while later (perhaps a half hour or so) I saw the same hunter come back. I had a feeling that this person was lost, so I yelled out to him and the hunter came to my location and indeed this person was lost. soaking wet suffering from hypothermia, and completely exhausted. As it turns out it was a young female hunter from Pittsburgh. She was about 8 MILES from where she was hunting with her uncle. Getting lost or TURNED AROUND IS A FRIGHTENING AFFAIR NOT A JOKE.
You, yourself need to learn how to instuct a young hunter. Sorry if I sound critical, but that's how tradgedies occur.

-5 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment