In the Fall of 2016, a relationship was established between the DGIF Hunter Education Program and the Virginia Tech Chapter of the Wildlife Society. A Hunter Education Class was offered to the students of the chapter on the campus of Virginia Tech. At that time, it was discovered that many of the students studying wildlife at VT had never hunted or been exposed to hunting. That relationship blossomed recently with Region Three DGIF Hunter Education Volunteers and Staff offering a Squirrel Hunting Workshop for the VT students in Giles County.
On Saturday, October 7, 2017, after months of planning, preparation and countless emails sent back and forth, Region Three Hunter Education Instructors from Buchanan, Grayson, Floyd, Montgomery and Pulaski Counties along with Hunter Education Staff and ten Virginia Tech students embarked on a squirrel hunting journey. The journey included squirrel biology 101, discussion of Pittman-Robertson funding, the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, firearm and hunting safety, live fire on a shooting range, a squirrel skinning and cleaning demonstration, squirrel hunting techniques and an evening squirrel hunt in the National Forest.
The journey was completed with squirrel stew and stories shared of first squirrels being harvested and hunting memories made. The DGIF Hunter Education Program will continue to foster this relationship with the Virginia Tech Chapter of the Wildlife Society and plans to offer additional workshops and hunting opportunities in the future.