QDMA is pleased to announce the New York Field to Fork, consisting of the individual Greater Rochester Southern Tier and Upper Hudson River Valley Field to Fork events, was recently recognized as the 2019 QDMA Event of the Year. The award was one of several given out at the organization’s Whitetail Weekend in Athens, Ga., March 12-14.
“Bob Rose and the Greater Rochester Southern Tier Branch were early adopters of our Field to Fork program, excelling and finding enjoyment from the start,” said Hank Forester, QDMA’s Assistant Director of Hunting Heritage Programs. “The Upper Hudson River Valley and Capital District Branches started their own combined program in 2019. With state-wide cohesion, uniformity and success, driven by passionate volunteers, the collective 2019 programs in New York were the clear winner for Event of the Year.”
In its second year, the Greater Rochester Field to Fork event grew from five to eight participants due to increasing interest in participation and mentoring. The event included two classroom sessions where participants learned about conservation, deer biology, and hunting strategies; a range day to learn shooting skills; a hunter education course; and two sessions covering hands-on butchering and processing instruction. All of this was followed with multiple mentored hunting opportunities for each new hunter. By season’s end, five of the eight participants were able to harvest their first deer, and all gained valuable knowledge and memorable experiences in the field.
The Upper Hudson River Valley Field to Fork event (pictured above) recruited nine participants through appearances at the local farmer’s market and through press received from local news outlets. The Upper Hudson River Valley and Capital District Branches partnered with the Cornell Cooperative Extension, the New York Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, and Slate River Farms. Two classroom trainings were held, followed by a hunter education course and range day. Six of the nine participants were able to harvest their first deer, and some of those deer were used to train participants how to field dress and butcher a deer.
Other national nominees for Event of the Year included: Pennsylvania’s Cowanesque Valley Branch Youth Field Day, Michigan Military Youth Hunt, Minnesota’s Prairie Highlands Branch Share Your Hunt™, South Carolina’s Connie Maxwell Youth Hunt, and the Kentucky Military Youth Hunt.