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Learning to hunt may seem beyond the reach of those who have not grown up hunting as part of their family experience. Fortunately, Alabama’s Adult Mentored Hunt (AMH) program teaches all the skills needed to put wild game on the dinner table and help start new traditions.
Jessie Barcala grew up in a military family that moved several times as a child. While his father was stationed at Redstone Arsenal near Huntsville, Barcala completed high school in nearby Arab, Alabama. After graduation, he entered the US Air Force where he served as an explosive ordnance disposal technician in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Hunting was never part of his childhood. However, the sense of peace that Barcala experienced while fishing and camping as a Scout was one of the motivators that led him to participate in the AMH program.
“As a combat veteran, I suffer from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder),” said Barcala. “I fondly remember growing up fishing and being outdoors. I thought this would be a good way to calm my mind and get into an activity that I have always wanted to do.
It was the turkey hunt, in particular, that fascinated Barcala.