Area Youth Gets First Deer

Going out deer hunting for any youngster has to be exciting. So, one can imagine the enthusiasm that must have gone through Latrobe resident Brett Batsa in getting ready for his first hunting excursion mentored by his father. To say he was fired up with eagerness was putting it mildly.

So upon the morning of Dec. 1, first day of rifle deer season, he and his dad, Jeff, headed off to Indiana County, where the Baggaley Elementary School student would attempt to harvest a deer.

Upon entering a friend’s property near the airport in the proximity of Two Lick Reservoir, the duo decided ahead of time that they would build a tree stand. From there, the sixth grader would be able to view the woods from above ground level. Being that the sun didn’t rise until 7:20 a.m., or there abouts, the father and son team had a lot to do in a short amount of time. Combining their skills, the Unity Township residents were in position in short order. All that was required now was to wait it out.

It didn’t take long. Less than one hour later, at 8:15 a.m., the 11 year-old spotted a four-point. He was able to get off a shot from approximately 50 yards away, hitting it in the neck, killing his first deer. To state the fact that excitement filled the air was an understatement.

Since Brett was under the age of 12, the only way he could hunt would be through a program developed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission called The Mentored Youth Hunting Program. According to the 2008-2009 Hunting and Trapping Digest, the Program is “designed to allow youngsters under 12 years of age to gain hunting experience and learn at an early age about Pennsylvania’s rich hunting heritage. It gives unlicensed youngsters the opportunity to receive one-on-one, hands-on experience and training in the field on the ethics, safety, responsibility, enjoyment and all aspects of the hunting experiences by persons who are dedicated to this pursuit. There simply is no better way to introduce a young person to safe, ethical and responsible aspects of hunting than with the close supervision of an adult mentor.”

To qualify as a mentor, one has to meet the following requirements as detailed in the Digest. A Mentor (licensed person 21 years or older), must guide the youth, no older than 11 years of age in hunting and its related activities. “Mentors must secure a valid, current hunting license or otherwise qualify for a license and fee exemptions prior to engaging in any mentored youth hunting activities,” the booklet stated.

It goes without saying that I know of one young fellow who will be having a smile on his face from ear to ear for a very long time.

Brett is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Batsa, 350 American Legion Road.

Article by:
Paul J. Volkmann (12/05/2008)
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