For Immediate Release
November 2, 2018
USA Sponsors Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge
First Shot Mentored Deer Hunt
Cambridge, Maryland — Twenty-three aspiring hunters gathered to learn how to pursue big game and provide food for themselves and their families at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge Oct. 26-27 during the refuge’s inaugural First Shots deer hunt.
The hunt was sponsored by the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA), Maryland Department of Natural Resources and National Wild Turkey Federation. More than 60 applications were received for the 23 available opportunities to be mentored by an experienced hunter and learn hunting basics including scouting, stand placement, biology and field care. The individuals selected were all new adult hunters who did not have a support network to help them develop a new lifelong passion.
Applicants were also eager to harvest their first deer, and at press time the apprentice hunters had harvested a total of 17 deer, with additional hunting opportunities set for later in the week.
In September of 2017, the USA partnered with the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge to conduct a sika and white-tailed deer population survey using infrared imaging technology. The long-term goal was to provide necessary population data to the refuge—allowing for more opportunities for sustainable deer hunting.
USA put out a call to local members asking them to consider volunteering as a mentor. International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 24 Training Coordinator Brian Cavey wasted no time applying to be a mentor.
“I was honored and privileged to take part in Maryland’s Mentored Deer Hunting Program,” said Cavey. “What a way to introduce new hunters to the wonderful world of the outdoors and hunting.”