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YHEC winners express thanks.

Dear Bowhunter,

When I first read the letter and saw that I had won something in your 2008 Youth Hunter Essay Contest (YHEC), I got butterflies in my stomach. After it hit me that I had won second place and was awarded a "Whitetail Weekend to Remember with Neil Dougherty, Charlie Alsheimer, and North Country Whitetails" I could barely contain my excitement.

At first I wasn't sure what to think of this prize, but after attending the "Whitetail Weekend," if given the choice, I would have picked this prize as my first choice. Many thanks to Bowhunter for the tickets to the camp, the transportation, and the box of magazines, DVDs, and hats that I received upon arrival.

I would also like to thank Charlie Alsheimer, Neff Dougherty, and Craig Dougherty for everything they taught my dad and me. It was an amazing experience learning from Neil--one of the best teachers in the country--and after listening to Charlie talk about his career in photography and writing, I think that is what I would like to do when I get older. Lastly, I will never forget all of the stories and wisdom Craig shared with me. We are definitely going to put their tips, tricks, and strategies into use on our hunting land.

Ryan Mathews, Reedsburg, Wisconsin, via e-mail

Dear Bowhunter,

I would like to thank Bowhunter Sales Manager Jeff Millar for the article he wrote about the YHEC bear hunts ("Three in a Row ... and Counting!" Big Game Special 2008). Jeff captured the flavor of the hunts perfectly, and his account of my evening at the bait is perfect to a word. We truly experienced the hunt of a lifetime, and we largely have him and Bowhunter Magazine TV cameraman Bob Theim to thank for it.

A shoulder mount of my bear now rests on the wall of my dorm room at Seattle Pacific University. My roommate is a fellow bowhunter who appreciates having a bear head hanging in his room. It's also a great conversation starter with nonhunters about why I bowhunt.

My dad and I are thankful for the extra effort Jeff made to make us comfortable on our hunt. He and Bob are great guys, and even though we knew them for only a brief time, we feel like they're old friends we'd be blessed to share a hunting camp with any time.

Nate Corley, 2006 YHEC Grand Prize Winner

Dear Bowhunter,

I was the first runner-up in your 2008 Youth Hunter Essay Contest and would like to thank you, and the good folks at Mathews, for my prize--a Mathews Drenalin bow. I have been shooting it since it arrived at my house and I love it! I can't wait to hunt with it this archery season. Thank you very much for sponsoring the contest and choosing my essay.

Adam Immke, Pontiac, Illinois, via e-mail

Editor's Note: Speaking of the YHEC, it's that time of year again. For this year's YHEC question, contest rules, and list of great prizes, turn to page 66 of this issue. Good luck!
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Title Annotation:Between Bowhunters: Letters From Bowhunter Readers
Author:Mathews, Ryan; Corley, Nate; Immke, Adam
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Dec 1, 2008
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