Several entities are teaming up to organize a Junior Waterfowl Camp for youth ages 12 to 17 on Jan. 4-6 on Pintail Slough near Golden Shores, which is inside the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge.
The camp is free, but is only open to the first 18 youngsters who sign up by noon Friday. Participants 14 and up must have a hunting license and those 16 and older must also have state and federal duck stamps.
"There is an alarming number of youth growing up with little outdoor experience and little knowledge of nature," said Luke Apfel, a wildlife manager for the Arizona Game and Fish Department who is the driving force behind the camp. "Efforts such as this help foster an appreciation for wildlife and the outdoors."
To apply for the camp go to www.azgfd.gov/waterfowlcamp and download an application. You can also contact the Region III office at (928) 692-700 to request an application. Participants will be selected by a random drawing.
Those selected will be contacted by phone or email, at which time they will need to send in a $40 refundable deposit to limit no-shows.
The deposit is refunded on the first day of the camp or to those who cancel no later than Dec. 21.
Those who are not selected will remain on a waiting list and can still participate in other camp activities.
Other parts of the camp will be open to the general public and those folks will be afforded the opportunity to participate in archery instruction and clay pigeon shooting.
Apfel noted that there are some great fishing opportunities available to the public in the area.
The camp's organizers are the Arizona Game and Fish Department, the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, Ducks Unlimited, Topock Elementary School, Friends of the Bill Williams River Refuge and Friends of the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge.