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TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2015  06:09:54 PM

Outdoor opportunities on post highlighted at Hunting, Fishing Day

Email   Print   Share By Heather Graham-Ashley, Sentinel News Editor
September 19, 2013 | Sports
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Hannah Bartlett, 6, gets some help from her father, Jody, while aiming a compound bow on the archery range Saturday during Fort Hood’s Hunting and Fishinn Day. Activities during the day included an archery contest, a fishing derby, a turkey shoot and a turkey-calling contest. Heather Graham-Ashley, Sentinel News Editor
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Joe Tabor teaches Carson Darling, 6, how to scrape along a wooden box to mimic a turkey call Saturday during Fort Hood Hunting and Fishing Day at the Sportsmen’s Center. The day, a national holiday, encourages safety in outdoor activities and serves to introduce youth to hunting and fishing. Heather Graham-Ashley, Sentinel News Editor
Soldiers and their Families hit Fort Hood ponds and ranges to enjoy some outdoor fun during the post’s annual Hunting and Fishing Day Saturday at the Fort Hood Sportsmen’s Center complex.

A national holiday, Hunting and Fishing Day is a day to introduce people to safe and responsible hunting and fishing.

At Fort Hood, it also is a day to highlight the many outdoor activities available on the installation and kick off the beginning of hunting season.

“This is always our first event of hunting season to get everyone together,” Scott Hartfield, recreational assistant, Fort Hood Sportsmen’s Center, said. “This helps everyone get the jitters out.”

Traditionally held shortly after the beginning of dove season, which began Sept. 1, Fort Hood’s Hunting and Fishing Day offers the opportunity for hunters to get together and plan ahead for the upcoming deer season and beyond.

At Fort Hood, hunting opportunities for white-tail deer, turkeys, hogs, coyotes, ducks and small game abound, Hartfield said, noting that the post’s hunting area is about 220,000 acres.

“Turkey, deer and hogs seem to be the most popular,” Hartfield said. “The dove hunting is phenomenal.”

All hunting is good on Fort Hood, he said.

“The experience here is less stressful (because of the wide spaces), and it’s a lot cheaper than getting a lease,” Hartfield said.

In addition to the varied game, the post offers guided and unguided hunts, as well as a youth hunt in late October.

For those more interested in fishing, there are about 100 stocked ponds, 12 of which are maintained regularly on Fort Hood, Hartfield added.

One of those stocked ponds is where Fort Hood’s Hunting and Fishing Day traditionally begins with an early morning fishing derby at Cantonment B pond.

For many, the day was a chance for some Family time and to introduce younger members of the Family to the many outdoor sporting opportunities available on post.

The opportunity to spend some time with his son, Anthony, is what prompted Will Conmey’s trip to Hunting and Fishing Day.

“It’s good father-son time,” the elder Conmey said. “I would like to get my son into fishing.”

Anthony, 10, and his father fished in the morning derby, but did not have much luck on the pond, but the bonding experience was well-worth the early morning trip.

“It’s pretty good to get to learn new things,” Anthony said about the day with his father.

The two agreed that they will continue to come to Fort Hood to fish and take advantage of the many outdoor opportunities on the installation.

“There is so much to do here at Fort Hood and it’s right here,” Will said.

As a father, he also likes the classes offered and emphasis Fort Hood places on safety when hunting and fishing.

“They encourage getting (kids) started at a young age and teach them responsibility in the classes,” Will said. “I like that we don’t have to go far to have this opportunity.”

In addition to fishing, Soldiers and Families participated in an archery contest and a turkey-calling contest to test their abilities against others.

Participants also had the opportunity to participate in a turkey shoot with guns and a range safety officer provided by the Sportsmen’s Center.

For the younger children, an inflatable bounce house and face-painting by student volunteers from the area National Junior Honor Society kept the little ones entertained.

Inside the Sportsmen’s Center pro shop, staffers and Fort Hood hunting guides helped Soldiers and their Families obtain hunting and fishing licenses, as well as the additional permits required to hunt and fish on the installation.

Those interested in hunting or fishing on post are required area access permits in addition to state licenses, he said. Information about the permits, hunting and fishing licenses, and the Fort Hood permits are available at the Sportsmen’s Center.
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