After 32 years with Arizona Game and Fish, Devin Skinner still loves his job, especially on the days he gets to pass along all he’s learned over the years.
One of those opportunities is right around the corner. Game and Fish is offering a free dove hunting clinic and workshop for youth Sept. 3-Sept. 4 in Safford.
“I have a great love for the outdoors, and I like seeing when other people can kind of have that experience. I hate to see them sit home playing video games when there’s so much outside to do. It’s kind of fun passing on that outdoor experience,” Skinner, a wildlife management specialist, said.
The clinic will introduce kids 9-15 the basics of hunting, handling a shotgun, and hunting safety.
“We set up the ground rules on how to hunt dove. We let them shoot clay targets with a mentor, who teaches them how to hold a gun,” he said.
The young hunters will be given a lesson on bird biology on Sept. 3 and they’ll practice shooting clay pigeons at the trap range. On Sept. 4, participants will be paired with an experienced mentor, who will go out with the kids and their parents to hunt for several hours.
The South Eastern Arizona Sportsmen Club will provide lunch, after which the young hunters, if they are successful in their hunt, can clean and prepare the birds, so they can eat them.