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Annual youth event draws bigger crowd this year

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

By Rusty Murry

Nevada Daily Mail

The first outdoors youth event held at the Nevada Elks Club Lake last fall was by all accounts a great success, but this year's full day of hunting and outdoor related activities drew about double the crowd, according to organizer Adam Dean.

The event was sponsored by the Osage Prairie Thunderin' Toms Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation and many other local and state sponsors.

Volunteers from the Vernon County 4-H Shooting Sports, the Missouri Department of Conservation, Ducks Unlimited, the Southwest Missouri Retriever Club and others marshaled men and women, equipment, dogs and energy to make sure that dozens of kids had a great day on Sept. 22.

Kids from Vernon County and elsewhere were given the opportunity to shoot clay pigeons, blackpowder guns, BB guns and archery equipment. Instruction also was available on calling turkeys and waterfowl, how to place decoys and how to handle a dog. All participating kids were given a free membership to the National Wild Turkey Federation and free chances at the drawings held for a guided spring youth turkey hunt and a new compound bow.

Dean said the sponsors for this year's event went "above and beyond" to make the event a success.

A minor difficulty arose because the crowd was much larger than expected. Dean said it became apparent as lunch time approached that there was not going to be enough food to feed the hungry kids and the adults who attended with them. A quick trip to a local grocer secured 100 hot dogs; and Dean said the lunch portion of the event still went smoothly even though some had to wait in line for their food.

Several big prizes were given to participants in drawings and many of the kids received smaller items such as duck and turkey calls. In the ticketed drawing for a new shotgun, Eli Cupp won the new CZ 20-gauge semi-automatic scatter-gun.

Avery Greer won a rifle with an interchangeable, 2-barrel set in another drawing.

All kids in attendance were eligible to win prizes, sponsored by Max Motors. A new compound Mathews Bow went to Mary Kenny and a guided spring youth turkey hunt to be provided by Tim Bond went to Dakotan Fogle, son of Vernon County Conservation Agent Justin Fogle.

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