The recently-crowned 2018 Dayton Fair Queen gave a talk about wild turkeys to young children assembled at the Ford City Library last night.
Laurie Enders,16, is from Bethel Township. She is a Junior at Armstrong High School. She is fascinated with wildlife for many years with some encouragement from her parents.
“My dad, Dale, and I go hunting and fishing together, and I have been to a couple of 4H events that have helped move that along and get me to where I am today.”
Enders has attended the Wildlife Leadership Academy based in Williamsport over the past several years.
“The camp I selected to go to was all about gobblers, so I learned about the Eastern Wild Turkey, management practices used to control them, and leadership essentials.”
In 2017 the public provided 19,617 turkey sightings to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, down from 30,184 in 2016. Still, Enders maintains there is are a “good amount” of wild turkeys in Armstrong County.
“They survive the winter well. They don’t like it when it’s wet. It’s not very good for the turkeys. But throughout the winter, they seem to do pretty well.”
While Enders did give a few statistics, she said the real interest of children came in turkey calls.
“I will mainly focus on turkey calling, because it gets the kids the most excited. There are multiple different calls you can use. I brought some box calls for the kids to use – they are easier for kids. It gets them excited about the outdoors and wildlife.”
She has taken her talk to Lenape Elementary fourth and sixth grade classes this past year. Her future includes becoming a wildlife biologist.
“My dream is to go to Penn State DuBois for two years and get mu wildlife technology degree. Then I will go to Penn State Main Campus for another two years to get my degree in Wildlife and Fishery Sciences.”
Enders has also been in 4H for 12 years and has her own club called Midnight Riders.
“Recently we have been getting a lot of new members. I try to do an activity with each of the members. It is a way for them to participate in 4H projects. They range from doing photography to raising a diary cow. If there is not a project book for something they would like to do, they can do a self-determined project where eventually they can enter it at the Fair.”
Last night’s event was a program initiated by Sheri Humenik’s group, Children’s Discovery Observation Learning Series. If parents are looking for a free weekly event for their children, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide parents’ names, child’s name, and cell number. You will be added to weekly text reminders of each event.