King George Middle School Outdoor Club
Sponsors: Mark Fike, Mike Woods, VDGIF K-9 Officer Frank Spuchesi
Background: During the 2010-2011 school year, a number of students approached Mark Fike and expressed interest in the outdoors. The same core group of five students (with some additional guests) met informally during lunch throughout the year to discuss hunting and fishing. Senior Conservation Police Officer Frank Spuchesi came as a guest speaker during hunting season to talk to the students about hunting safety and ethics. The group sometimes ate wild game prepared by their family or by Mark Fike during lunch. Interest grew and Senior CPO Spuchesi suggested a club be started.
Purpose: The purpose of the outdoor club is to serve students at King George Middle School who have an interest in the outdoors or would like to learn about the outdoors to see if they would be interested in pursuing it as a hobby or pastime. Specifically the sponsors will educate interested students in topics dealing with hunting, fishing, shooting and other outdoors related topics as expressed interest is brought to the attention of the sponsors. There are other clubs like this in the state but this is the first one in our immediate area.
Goals: Our goals are: 1- To increase the awareness and interest in the outdoor traditions to include hunting, fishing and shooting in a safe and ethical manner. 2- Encourage students to get outside and experience these activities and learn about their environment and how consumptive pursuits such as hunting and fishing play a historic and significant role in our lives.
Activities to attain our goals: Each month on the “7th Day Rotation” we are afforded the opportunity to meet with students who are signed up for the Outdoors Club. Sponsors will present topics of interest to the students and encourage discussion and questions to educate them. As the club grows we plan to ask guest speakers to come. Topics that may be covered include the following:
Finding deer on a piece of property Bowhunting strategies
Archery basics Hunting big bucks
Planting food plots for wildlife Aging deer with jawbones
Cooking venison and game Treestand placement and safety
Duck hunting tactics Small game tips
Choosing a firearm that fits Camo and ground blinds
Shot placement Shoot/Don’t shoot scenarios
Whitetail biology and the rut Dressing to stay warm
Successful pond fishing Casting techniques w/ different reels
Fly casting and fly tying Tying knots & spooling reels w/ line
Catfish tactics on the Rapp Pond management
Reading a river Using a fish finder
Seasonal fisheries changes Bass fishing the Potomac
Lure tune up
Additionally, Mark Fike began an after school sub group of the club for those interested. Conservation Police Officer Frank Spuchesi (Now promoted to K-9 Officer) has offered to be a regular part of this group as part of his duties. This group will be able to go more in depth with discussion and guest speakers as there will be more time available after school. Mike Woods will also participate. The sub group may, with administration and parent permission, be able to participate in field activities or events off school grounds and after school hours. Such events may include assisting in the disabled veterans hunt in December, assisting in the youth hunt in December, assisting in the Youth Fishing Day in May, and any other events that would be educational and a service to others in the community. Fishing trips and possibly a rabbit hunt may be coordinated for select students but would not be affiliated with the school if such trips occur.
Finally, students will be encouraged to write about their experiences in the great outdoors and be published in the local newspaper or Chesapeake Angler / Hunter magazine. This will motive kids to write and read.
Notes: The club will be receiving a membership to North American Fishing Club and North American Hunting Club. Virginia Game and Fish magazine has offered a full year of magazines as a donation to the club as well. The club welcomes such donations to help educate our youth.