Upland Bird Hunting Mentorship Program |

JOHNSONBURG – The Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) New Hunter Mentorship Program held its first of three days of training for new hunters on Saturday, April 30 at the Rolfe Beagle Club in Elk County. The RGS New Hunter Mentor Program (NHMP) is for hunters of all ages who want to learn more about hunting upland birds – grouse, woodcock or other upland birds. In order to maintain the quality of teaching at a high level, a maximum of 10 enrollees are accepted in the annual program.

The first day of the program is all about shotguns and safety – learning about types of shotguns, safe handling of firearms, different shells, chokes to use when and where, prices of different firearms, calibers of shotguns – everything you need to know to become familiar with the type of shotgun you might acquire. All registrants were able to use the firearms they brought and then shoot their guns at clay targets and birds.

This year’s registrants come from across the region. “We have a good mix of older and younger hunters,” said Christine Haibach, an instructor. “We have three adults, three youngsters and two teenagers in this year’s class.”

The next two days of training are tentatively scheduled for:

  • Saturday, May 21 — The seminar will focus on bird habitats and learning to navigate in the woods.
  • Saturday, November 12 – The seminar will cover caring for bird dogs, then registrants will go bird hunting.

People with questions about the New Hunter mentorship program can contact Christine Haibach at [email protected], or Rich Elliott at [email protected]