The Green Bow Foundation is a Virginia-based non-profit organization that started in May of 2013 for children eight to 18 to learn bow hunting and hunter ethics, and have fun along the way. The Green Bow Foundation also teaches and promotes conservation of wildlife and hunting areas for future generations. They are the only group with permission to hunt on 4-H land in Virginia, and they recently received a grant from Virginia Tech, through the 4-H.
I attended one of their monthly meetings at the Marshall, Va., Independent Grocers Alliance (IGA) store, where the owner, Holder Trumbo, (he is also the butcher) gave a demonstration on how to prepare a deer after field dressing with only a hunting knife and a saw. He brought out a lamb, as they are almost anatomically the same, minus the shoulders. He went through the different parts, went over what part of the meat was good for what, and how to cook it.
Leadership and ethics are an important part of what Green Bow teaches kids. Navy Lt. Kristen Laraway from the Virginia Military Institute's (VMI) Center for Leadership and Ethics gave a speech on how the two exist together and apply to everything we do, including hunting. We also heard from Kyle McGowan, one of the students in the class, who told the story of his first hunting experience with the Green Bow Foundation. He had gone out hunting with Mr. James Pinsky, the man who started the Green Bow Foundation. The story went that during the day, they came across three deer, a fawn and two does. But even with the fawn getting only eight yards away, he didn't shoot once. Because he knew what he was doing, if the shot wasn't clear, or when he felt the kill wouldn't be clean, he didn't shoot. Following his display of good judgment, an award has been named after him that represents good judgment and properly applied ethics.
In order to be a member of the Green Bow Foundation, you must first register with Mr. Jay Pinsky or one of the other leaders. There is also an online membership form. You must be between the ages of eight and 18 to join. Upon joining, you are given an official T-shirt and an adjustable compound bow to fit all members' sizes. All students must complete 20 hours of community service with the group and must leave a $300 deposit. After the completion of the 20 hours of community service, your deposit is returned and the bow is given to you to own. Before you are allowed to hunt with the group, you must pass a test that will determine your ability to use a bow, as well as your understanding of ethics and what hunting will entail.
A lot of the community service involves working in the outdoors to help preserve and improve public hunting lands. The Green Bow Foundation and its students/volunteers has been made responsible for a tract of land on the Phelps Wildlife Management Area near Sumerduck, Va. Volunteers spent a full day clearing trails and making the area accessible for all hunters, including those with disabilities. It is important that young hunters learn ethics to do things properly. They need to understand what constitutes a clean kill, and must be able to make decisions that can allow them to be safe. But, just as ethics are important, it is also important to conserve the land that we hunt on. Even if we know how to hunt, if there is nothing to hunt for or on, the knowledge is wasted.
In the end, I find that the Green Bow Foundation does good work and helps teach new hunters what they need to know to be a part of bow hunting. They help keep the traditional methods of hunting with bows alive for the younger generation so that they can be passed on while protecting and conserving the land so that the future generations can enjoy and hunt on those as well. Find out more at http://greenbowfoundation.com.