Student Archers in CDFW State Competition Score Big

Media Contact:
Lesa Johnston, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 322-8933

Three student archers take aim at targets

Students compete in a National Archery in the Schools Program international tournament. NASP photo

The California National Archery in the Schools Program (CalNASP), hosted by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, has concluded its fourth annual Virtual State Archery Tournament and the students achieved impressive archery scores.

“We would like to congratulate all of the students who participated in this year’s Virtual State Archery Tournament, especially the top boy and girl shooter of the tournament,” said Lesa Johnston, CalNASP coordinator. “These young people are taking on a sport that requires dedication and focus in order to be proficient as a competitor. On the other hand, archery is enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. It is a very accessible sport.”

Kaden Dewitt, a seventh grader at Excelsior Middle School in Contra Costa County, came in as the top boy shooter and top overall shooter in the state competition with 23 shots achieving the maximum of 10 points computed into his score.

Kally Norvell, an eighth grader from Gracious Trail Academy in San Diego County, is top girl shooter with 14 shots achieving the maximum of 10 points computed into her score. She came in as fifth overall shooter in the state competition.

Both shooters will each receive a new Genesis Special Edition compound bow donated by the manufacturer to the schools. Their new bows will be presented to the winners by their coaches.

The Virtual State Archery Tournament is designed to give students the opportunity to showcase their mastery of the sport in a supportive environment where they can compete with other students statewide.

Students compete in their own gymnasium and their scores are posted in a national database. The database ranks the state scores and coaches can get national scores to report to students.

Honorable mentions go out to Matthew Guerra from James Madison High School in San Diego County, who took second place overall and rank one in the Boys’ High School Division; Wyatt Vaineharrison from Gracious Trail Academy in San Diego, who took third place overall and rank two in the Boys’, Middle School Division; Nashmi Avilez from James Madison High School, who ranked as second overall girl shooter and rank one in the Girls’ High School Division; and Cassidy Reiman from Excelsior Middle School in Contra Costa County, who ranked third place overall girl shooter and rank two in the Girls’ Middle School Division.

Gray Lodge Wildlife Area Hosts Youth and Families

Junior hunters and their mentors lined up like flocks of ducks at 5 a.m. at the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area check station waiting to sign in and go hunting on Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days Feb. 1 and 2. Only hunters 15 years of age and under accompanied by a non-hunting, mentoring adult can hunt waterfowl on these dates.

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By 6:30 a.m. they were scattered across the marshlands of Gray Lodge Wildlife Area ready to hunt. They averaged a little over four ducks each by day’s end.

Corey Macintyre took his 10-year-old son, Alex, and 12-year-old daughter, Kate, to Gray Lodge. The Macintyres recently took up hunting and are learning the skills of duck hunting on public lands. Alex shot a Gadwall duck banded in northeast Oregon in 2007. While Gadwall ducks are very common at Gray Lodge, harvesting a banded one is rare.

“This is our first full season of duck hunting and it is a blast but there is a lot to learn,” Cory Macintyre said. “Learning to hunt under drought conditions and understanding the work that went into planning this event teaches kids an important message about conservation.”

A successful hunt depends on habitat and in the case of wetlands that means water. Water was significantly limited this year and all irrigation deliveries to Gray Lodge ended in late December. As drought conditions took hold and no rain fell for longer than 50 days, wildlife managers had to make tough decisions on when and where to put water to maintain wetlands for wildlife.

Gray Lodge Wildlife Area’s 9,182 acres provide feeding and roosting habitat for hundreds of thousands of ducks and geese throughout the migratory season, and nesting habitat for resident ducks during the spring and summer. With 95 percent of California’s historic wetland and riparian areas lost, Gray Lodge is vital to waterfowl and provides habitat to a vast array of native California species, both plant and animal.

“It was a real challenge this year to utilize our limited water resources,” said Andy Atkinson, CDFW Senior Environmental Scientist. “Our efforts resulted in providing critical habitat for more than one million ducks and geese that stayed on and in the vicinity of the area for the vast majority of the season and resulted in excellent hunting and waterfowl viewing opportunities.”

Safety standards are of paramount consideration when establishing the number of young hunters accompanied by their mentors that can hunt on a wildlife area. Wildlife managers try to give mentored hunters more room to hunt by increasing the ratio of huntable acres per hunter. This spreads the mentored hunters out more, reduces competition and increases the likelihood of success.

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days provide a unique opportunity for mentored hunts for young hunters. Statewide an estimated 20,000 out of 68,000 California waterfowl hunters purchased passes

Media Contacts:
Andy Atkinson, CDFW Senior Environmental Scientist, (530) 846-7500
Harry Morse, CDFW Communications, (916) 323-1478


Deadline Quickly Approaching for March Turkey Hunting Clinic

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Advanced Hunter Education Program is offering a turkey hunting clinic on March 1 at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area near Gridley.

Prospective hunters must register by 5 p.m. Friday, February 14.

Experienced instructors will instruct this exciting clinic on how to successfully hunt wild turkey. Topics to be covered are concepts of decoy placement, blind design, ballistics, calling, equipment, game care and cleaning, cooking tips and safety.

The clinic is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 1 and costs $45. Space is limited and registration is required so hunters are encouraged to apply early. Youths 16 years and younger are free but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

CDFW’s Advanced Hunter Education Program will provide all necessary class equipment.

Registration forms are available online at After registering, participants will receive an e-mail with a map to the facility and a list of items to bring.

Gray Lodge Wildlife Area is located, approximately 60 miles north of Sacramento.

Media Contact:
Lt. Dan Lehman, Advanced Hunter Education Program Coordinator, (916) 358-4356
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

Wild Turkey


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