Calhoun Correctional Institution is assisting the United States Forestry Service in their quest to develop future hunters by having inmates build hunting blinds to be used by families and the disabled who wish to hunt.
The U.S. Forestry Service’s Juniper Creek Wildlife Management (JCWM) Area, established on the 923-acre Chipola Experimental Forest in Calhoun County, is being developed to provide a safe environment for parents to teach their children to hunt.
Calhoun CI Warden Porter agreed to provide inmate labor, under the supervision of Officer Eddie Taylor, to assemble the hunting blinds from plans and materials provided by the Forestry Service. A total of seven blinds have been assembled and delivered, which completes the first phase of this project. Another six hunting blinds are scheduled to be built by Calhoun CI inmates in 2012.
“The Forestry Service has been pleased with the excellent workmanship Officer Taylor and his squad of inmates have provided, as well as the savings to taxpayers since we used inmate labor to build the blinds,” said Warden Porter.
The JCWM Area has been divided into seven hunting zones ranging in size from 70 to 150 acres, with six of the zones having two wildlife openings constructed in them. The openings range in size from two to six acres for a total of approximately 52 acres divided between 13 openings. Each opening will have a hunting blind.
This area will be open to hunters from all over the country. As information is collected on the deer herd, more hunting areas may be added in the future.
The Forestry Service is also exploring setting aside entire weekends dedicated to hunters with disabilities. The blinds have been designed with a four-foot elevation and an access ramp to facilitate their use by hunters with disabilities.
As the program expands, Calhoun Correctional Institution and the U.S. Forestry Service look forward to continuing this partnership of community outreach that will benefit children and families on both a local and national level.