The Louisiana Male and Female 2012 Youth Hunters of the Year were recognized on Saturday at the 2013 Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association (LOWA) Conference in Lafayette. Chloe Slayter of Pineville was honored as the 2012 Female Youth Hunter of the Year and Brandon Fryar of Olla as the 2012 Male Youth Hunter of the Year.
The Youth Hunter of the Year Program is coordinated by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and LOWA. The program is sponsored by the South La. Branch of the Quality Deer Management Association, the Baton Rouge Chapter of Delta Waterfowl, Bowie Outfitters in Baton Rouge, the Louisiana Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Harrison Law, LLC and the Louisiana Wildlife Federation. The awards were presented by LDWF’s Tony Vidrine, MAV South Region manager.
“We hope that through these youth hunting activities we will solidify our young hunters and help them become lifelong sportsmen and conservationists,” said Kenny Ribbeck, LDWF Wildlife Division administrator. “LDWF truly appreciates the generosity of the sponsors who make this program work.”
Eleven-year-old Chloe Slayter could be considered a veteran deer hunter since she has participated in LDWF Youth Deer Hunts for several years. For the 2011 hunting season, Chloe was honored as Female Youth Hunter of the Year Runner-Up. Her parents are Jay and Tracy Slayter.
This past season Chloe was selected to hunt on the Red River WMA on Jan. 12. Her father sat in the deer stand with her that morning and they both had the experience of a lifetime when Chloe harvested a 14-point buck that weighed 170 pounds. Chloe credits the LDWF staff at Red River WMA for their efforts which provide hunting opportunities for Louisiana youth.
Brandon Kyle Fryar, 2012 Male Youth Hunter of the Year, is 15 years old. His parents are Jonny and Tammy Fryar. Brandon’s memorable hunting experience began on a cold morning this past January while duck hunting with his uncle, Alan Sanders, on the Boeuf Wildlife Management Area.
After making their set-up and while waiting for sunrise, they heard shouts from some other hunters not too far away. Brandon told his uncle they were shouting for help and together they went immediately to investigate. They discovered an overturned boat with three hunters — two men and a boy — in the freezing water. Brandon and his uncle quickly became first responders. After some effort, the three hunters were retrieved from the icy water and returned to the bank and their four wheeler. The hunters simply had overloaded their small boat and to make matters worse had no life jackets with them. What could have become a life-threatening situation due to hypothermia turned into a life-saving lesson for all involved.
Brandon and his uncle returned to their decoy spread and were able to bag a few ducks that morning. His story about the hunt was titled Our Adventure and Brandon described his hunt as something he will never forget. His list of lessons learned included always be prepared if things don’t go as planned, cell phones will not work when wet so have back-up items such as a compass and above all, when on the water, life vests are a must. As he concluded, one never knows when a simple duck hunt will turn into an adventure.
The two winners were recognized at the LOWA Conference awards banquet and each received a plaque and certificate, a gift card from Bowie Outfitters, and a free membership in the QDMA Rack Pack.
The opening day of the dove season in September ushers in the 2013 Fall Competition for Youth Hunter of the Year and youth hunters are encouraged to participate in the Youth Hunter Registry Program and the Youth Hunter of the Year Contest. Youngsters who hunted turkey in the spring of 2013 can also enter the competition and submit their stories and photos next summer.
For more information about the Youth Registry and Hunter of the Year Programs, visit LDWF’s website at http://www.wlf.state.la.us/hunting/youth-hunter-registry-program or contact Scott Durham at 225-765-2351 or firstname.lastname@example.org or David Moreland at 225-978-6552 or email@example.com.
Image courtesy Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries