Evan Dupre saw the raw emotion in his father’s eyes during the Youth Hunter Education Challenge Central Region National Championship awards ceremony July 24 in Lonoke, Arkansas.
“Whenever they announced I was first, he started tearing up,” Dupre said about Scott Dupre, who has been there and almost done that at national competitions three times as a teenager with the Jeanerette Junior Hunter Education Club.
A week or so later, Scott Dupre of Charenton confided he still tears up thinking about the way his 14-year-old son in his first year with the Teche Area-based Acadiana Youth Hunter Education Club grabbed the individual national title and led the national champion Louisiana Bayou Bandits Junior Gold Team.
Scott Dupre, a respected 16 ½-year veteran Enforcement Division agent with the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, qualified for nationals three straight years and finished second in individual competition 1995-1997. He has been in and out of YHEC coaching that included taking his oldest son, Elijah Dupre, to nationals in 2012.
The game warden coached his second son and soon may coach his stepdaughter, Brie Tyler, who, like Evan Dupre, attends Glencoe Charter School. Tyler is the daughter of Ashley Dupre, who recently qualified as a hunter education instructor so she can help and be involved like her husband.
Scott Dupre said he isn’t embarrassed by his tears.
“I couldn’t have held back my joy if I would have tried. I’m very proud of him, for sure,” he said.
Evan Dupre, who carried out a pile of plaques, said about his reaction to the crowning moment, “I was just shocked because that was my very first year doing something like that.”
“I really believe at the awards ceremony everybody got tired of hearing Evan’s name,” the teen’s father said.
Evan Dupre credited his dad’s coaching and said, “He’s a great coach. Everything I’ve learned is from him.”
AYHEC’s Naquin twins, Gavin and Gage, 16, of Jeanerette, also tipped their cap to Scott Dupre, their uncle who coached them in the weeks leading up to nationals.
“My Uncle Scott helped us practice going into nationals. He helped with Wildlife ID and Archery and Orienteering but the most strong ones were Wildlife ID and Orienteering,” Gavin Naquin, who competed on Louisiana Bayou Bandits Senior Gold Team, said.
Gage Naquin, who was on the Louisiana Bayou Bandits Senior Silver Team, said, “He helped us practice a lot, a lot. He’d call and say, ‘Want to come shoot? … Want to come shoot?’ He helped a lot with everything. He took us to people’s houses with taxidermy mounts of animals all over the world. He also took us to the game warden training facility, which has waterfowl, wings and body mounts. We actually shot at the 3D target range while we were there with our bows.”
He chuckled and said he better know wildlife identification because he hunts alone now. Considering his uncle’s a wildlife enforcement agent and if he made a mistake ID’ing, he said with a chuckle, “I’d get in trouble in the field and at home.”
YHEC competition features eight events. The four shooting events include three set up with simulated hunting situations and animal silhouette targets for .22-caliber Rifle, Muzzleloader and Archery while Shotgun features sporting clays. The other events are Orienteering with map and compass, a Hunter Safety Trail where competitors demonstrate safe hunting practices, Wildlife ID through tracks, hides, feathers and signs of North American Wildlife, and a Written Test on hunter safety, ethics, responsibility and law.
DON SHOOPMAN is outdoors editor of The Daily Iberian.