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2019 Youth Outdoor Program announced by Columbia County Sportsmen

Photo contributed

Successful result of a 2018 CCSF Youth Outdoor Education Turkey Hunt

March 8, 2019 04:00 pm Updated: March 8, 2019 04:41 pm

Kathy Burke, Director of the Columbia County Sportsman’s Federation’s (CCSF) Youth Outdoor Education Program, announced their 2019 schedule this week. 

The free program is open to all youths between the ages of 12 and 18. The robust schedule begins this April and runs through October. Education and hands-on activities cover a variety of outdoor disciplines. They include hunting, fishing, target shooting, environmental education, conservation, orienteering, kayaking, the shooting sports, sportsman education, to name just a few. 

The program includes youth turkey, pheasant, and deer hunts during special seasons set aside for youth hunters. It requires participants to attend mandatory safety presentations above and beyond that required by New York’s rigorous hunter safety program. Kathy gets the word out by distributing flyers to local school districts who have embraced the benefits of this outstanding mentoring program. 

She also promotes the program in various other venues with a general invitation to all youths who may be interested in participating in this worthwhile program. All courses are free of charge. This is made possible by the generous donations of time and resources by hard working volunteers and their supporters. 

The program is also supported by local ECOs and DEC Wildlife biologists and technicians, who share their professional skills. They provide instruction in conservation and ecology, hunter safety and tactics, orienteering, and outdoor survival. They also provide assistance with the youth hunts. 

To say the Columbia County Federation’s Youth Outdoor Education Program is comprehensive is an understatement.  A quick glance at the schedule below will confirm that. In addition to the activities already mentioned, kids tie flies, then learn how to fly fish with them, go kayaking, shoot muzzleloaders, bows, crossbows, rifles and shotguns. 

The program has their own Conservation Day and even takes kids on a canoe trip where they get to use seine nets sampling marine species that inhabit the Hudson River. This robust program invites youths to get off their screens and get outside to learn about nature and the outdoors while having fun. 

Thanks in advance go to the expert instructors and mentors for the courses listed below, making this grassroots initiative a self-supported, generous gift from members of the sporting community. 
2019 Youth Outdoor 
Education Schedule:

 April 6: Safety/Calling Seminar * Prerequisite for the Youth Turkey Hunt
April 14: Hunter Safety Course  
April 20-21: Youth Turkey Hunt  
May 4: Beginners Archery Course  
May 19: Bowhunter Safety Course 
June 1: Muzzleloader/Crossbow Course 
July 10: Canoe Trip on Hudson (limit 12)  
July 1, 3: Smallbore Rifle 
July 17, 18, 20: Shotgun Marksmanship *Prerequisite for the Sporting Clays/5 Stand, Trap League and the Pheasant Hunt. 
July 20: Kayak Trip on Lake Taghkanic   
July 25: 3D Archery 
July 25: Safety talk at Philmont *Prerequisite for the Trap Shooting League 
August 2, 28: Trap Shooting League 
August 11: Sporting Clays & 5-Stand 
August 17: Reloading / Silhouette / Varmint  
October 5: Youth Hunt Safety Talk   
October 5:  Squirrel Hunt  
October 12‐14: Youth Deer Hunt (limit 8)  
*Date TBD: Fly Tying & Fishing (limit 10) 
*For more information and details about these youth programs and their prerequisites, contact     Kathy Burke at 518-929- 2709 or via email at

Happy Hunting, Fishing and Trapping until next time.

News and Notes


In last week’s column, one of the references to the Stony Mountain Fish & Game Club was mistakenly referred to as the Stony “Point” Fish & Game Club. Please note the correction.

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner/Celebration at the Kinderhook Sportsmen’s Club

The Kinderhook Sportsmen’s Club is hosting its 4th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Dinner on March 17 from 3-6 p.m. Join them for corned beef, cabbage and potatoes while enjoying traditional Irish music. Advanced tickets purchased before March 10 for adults are $13.00, $15.00 at the door. Kids 12 and under, $6 in advance, $8 at the door. Call Sheila at 518-653-5519 or Kathy at 518-669-0101, or Barbara at 518-828-7173 for more information.

Last Opportunities to Sell Fur at Shooters Sports   

You can sell fur today, March 9 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Shooters Sports located at 3067 Main Street in Valatie. The next and last opportunity to do so at the store will be on April 13.
Remember to report poaching violations by calling 1-844-DEC-ECOS.  

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