By Craig Nyhus
Lone Star Outdoor News
The Falfurrias High School Agriculture Science department provided 10 students with their first hunting opportunity, thanks to the efforts of two teachers, Megan Kolbe and Oscar Galindo.
“We teach how hunting is used as a wildlife management tool, and we teach hunter education as part of the program,” Kolbe said. “We wanted the kids to practice what we preach in class.”
In 2015, Kolbe got in touch with the local game warden and he helped organize the hunt with one of the leases on the King Ranch.
That wasn’t the only hurdle, though — school administration approval was needed.
“I had to sit down with the principal and explain the program to her,” Kolbe said. “We preach safety all the time in class, and it’s important to teach the kids the proper use of a firearm, not the improper use. The hunt is very safe and in a controlled manner with the game wardens acting as mentors and guides. The hunt would give the kids an opportunity to learn all of the steps we teach them in class.”
After the first hunt in the 2015-2016 season, the principal met with the kids and viewed all of the photos.
“After the first year, she and the administration were on board,” Kolbe said.
The students were required to compose an essay on how hunting is used as a wildlife management tool in order to become eligible to participate in the hunt.
A few days before the December 2016 hunt, the students spend a day at the range, with the game wardens helping instruct them on safe firearm handling and accurate shooting.
“Then, on the day of the hunt, we convoyed to the lease and met the lease manager. He explained the management practices, and then the kids headed out with the wardens to find a doe — we had wardens from six counties,” Kolbe said.
Each of the students harvested a doe during this season’s hunt.
“They come back with all kinds of cool, eye-opening experiences and a new appreciation for wildlife and the outdoors,” Kolbe said. “Most of our kids don’t have the opportunity to spend time outside, away from town.”
After the hunt, the student’s work began.
“They were shown how to field dress the deer and how to cape and quarter them back at the camp,” Kolbe said. “The kids all helped and learned safety instructions on handling sharp knives.”
Texas Parks and Wildlife biologist Cody Gann was on hand, and conducted a necropsy where the students learned about the deer’s digestive system and looked at the stomach contents.
“It was an awesome day for the kids,” Kolbe said. “Allowing our youth to spend time outdoors and teaching them the ethics of hunting is a timeless tradition that will only continue if we work to pass it along — we plan to continue this tradition for years to come.”