2012 Youth Hunters Awards
The Louisiana Male and Female 2012 Youth Hunters of the Year were recognized on Saturday August 10th at the 2013 Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association (LOWA) Conference in Lafayette. Chloe Slayter of Pineville, Louisiana, is the 2012 Female Youth Hunter of the Year and Brandon Fryar of Olla, Louisiana, is the 2012 Male Youth Hunter of the Year. The awards were presented to the two winners by Tony Vidrine and Scott Duram of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The Youth Hunter of the Year Program is coordinated by both LDWF and LOWA. The program is sponsored by the South LA Branch of the Quality Deer Management Association, the BR Chapter of Delta Waterfowl, Bowie Outfitters in BR, the Louisiana Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Harrison Law, LLC and the Louisiana Wildlife Federation.
Eleven year old Chloe Slayter should be considered a veteran deer hunter because she has participated in LDWF Youth Deer Hunts for several years. In fact, Chloe was the 2011 Female Youth Hunter of the Year Runner-Up. This past season Chloe was selected to hunt on the Red River WMA on January 12th. Her dad sat in the deer stand with her that morning and they both had the experience of a lifetime when Chloe dropped the hammer on a fourteen point buck that weighed 170 pounds. Chloe credits the guys from LDWF who work on Red River WMA for their work and effort in providing these hunting opportunities for Louisiana youths. Chloe’s parents are Jay and Tracy Slayter.
Kenny Ribbeck, Wildlife Division Administrator, also gives credit to his WMA staff for the hard work they do in making these hunts an unforgettable experience for the youth hunters of the state. We hope that through these youth hunting activities we will solidify our youth hunters and help them become lifelong sportsmen and conservationists. Chloe is on this road to becoming a lifetime hunter.
Brandon Kyle Fryar is the 2012 Male Youth Hunter of the Year. Brandon is fifteen years old and his parents are Jonny and Tammy Fryar. Brandon went duck hunting with his Uncle Alan on the Boeuf Wildlife Management Area on a cold morning this past January. He and his uncle had made their set-up and were waiting for sunrise when they started hearing shouts from some other hunters not too far away. Brandon told his uncle they are shouting for help and the two hunters went immediately to investigate. They discovered an overturned boat with three hunters, two men and a boy, in the freezing water and these two hunters quickly became first responders! It took some effort but the three hunters were retrieved from the icy water and Brandon found their flag line and he and his uncle got them to the bank and to their four wheeler as quickly as possible because of the concern for hypothermia. The hunters simply had overloaded their small boat and to make matters worse had no life jackets with them.
Brandon and his uncle returned to their decoy spread and were able to bag a few ducks that morning. Brandon’s story about his hunt was titled Our Adventure. Brandon describes his hunt as one that he will never forget. Brandon said he learned several lessons that morning, the main one being always be prepared for things to go south! Cell phones will not work when they are wet so have back-up items such as a compass and above all, when on the water, life vests are a must. One never knows when a simple duck hunt will turn into an adventure.
The two winners will be recognized at the LOWA Conference and will receive a plaque and certificate, gift card from Bowie Outfitters, and a free membership in the QDMA Rack Pack. The opening day of the Dove Season ushers in the 2013 Fall Competition for Youth Hunter of the Year and youth hunters are encouraged to participate in the Youth Hunter Registry Program and the Youth Hunter of the Year Contest. Youth hunters who went Turkey Hunting in the Spring of 2013 can also enter the competition and submit their stories and photos next summer. Youths can find information about these programs at both the LDWF and the LOWA websites. The department and the outdoor writers thank the sponsors and their generosity in making this program a reality.