RGS Allegheny Chapter Offering New Hunter Mentor Program

Allegheny National Forest Visitors BureauBRADFORD, PA – April 9, 2018 – No matter your age – an older hunter wanting to learn a new critter to hunt or a first time hunter wanting to learn about upland bird hunting – the Allegheny Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society wants to help you learn the ins and outs of hunting upland birds!  The local RGS Chapter is looking for a few hunters (class size is capped at ten) who want to learn about grouse, woodcock, quail and pheasant hunting.  You will be paired with an experienced mentor that has been a successful upland bird hunter for years.  Sign up at crawld11@gmail.com or 814-661-6753.

“This is the only training offered in NC PA where an experienced, successful mentor helps you on a one-on-one basis from starting at the patterning board checking for gun fit, to learning about habitat, to learning about bird dogs, to finally going on a mentored hunt for grouse and woodcock,” says Rich Elliott, Leader of the Mentored Hunt Program for the Allegheny Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society.

Rich Elliott is currently taking applications for the second class of mentored hunting.  “The Allegheny Chapter covers Elk, McKean, Potter, and Cameron Counties, so we welcome any potential grouse and woodcock hunter from those four counties or the adjacent counties to enroll in the Mentored Hunt.  We are interested in old hunters wanting to learn a new trick, young or first time hunters, and female hunters,” says Rich, who can be reached at crawld11@gmail.com or 814-661-6753.

The Mentored Hunt Training is FREE to all participants.  The only requirement is your time to spend with another experienced grouse hunter to learn the ropes.  You must be able to qualify to purchase a Pennsylvania Hunting License OR be able to participate in a PGC Mentored Hunter category.  If you do not yet drive and you need transportation, contact Rich Elliott to make arrangements with your mentor.

The following three afternoons or mornings of hunt experiences will be offered as training before each mentored hunter actually goes on a grouse and woodcock hunt with their mentor:

Sunday, 4/29/17, at 1:00 p.m. the Gun Awareness phase of Mentored Hunting will take place at the Brockway High School Trap Range in Brockway, Jefferson County.  This afternoon will concentrate on clay shooting, gun safety, and shotgun familiarity.

Saturday, 8/4, at 11:00 a.m. the Habitat Awareness phase of Mentored Hunting will take place at Kinzua Bridge SP in Mt. Jewett, McKean County.  This afternoon will concentrate on field skills, habitat awareness, map reading, and familiarity with GPS for hunters new to hunting.

Saturday, 9/8, at 1:00 p.m. the Dog Awareness phase of the Mentored Hunting will take place at the training grounds of the Rolfe Beagle Club in Johnsonburg, Elk County.  This afternoon will concentrate on bird dog familiarity, safety, and care of the dogs.

Saturday, October 27 – the HUNT!  Each participant will be paired with an expert grouse and woodcock hunter for a day of hunting in nearby forests.  Here is the prime opportunity for attendees of the Mentored Hunting program to head out into the woods and put their newly learned skills to use with an expert hunter as their coach.  Grouse are notoriously hard to hit and any hunter harvesting the “King of the Game Birds” ought to be proud.  The Rolfe Beagle Club will be offering a bird cleaning/check station for any upland birds harvested that day.  Samples will be taken for disease testing, and aging and sexing of the birds.

Rich comments, “We will offer the training if one hunter signs up or if ten hunters sign up.  Here’s your chance to learn from experts in only three easy lessons that culminates in a mentored hunt for grouse and woodcock.” Space is limited, so sign up now at crawld11@gmail.com or 814-661-6753.

The Ruffed Grouse Society was founded in 1961 to promote and increase awareness of young forest management and to maintain suitable habitat that supports healthy populations of ruffed grouse, woodcock, deer and many songbird species that depend on forest diversity to survive and prosper.