Group searching for young hunters

The Mower County Pheasants Forever chapter has a treat for the youngsters this weekend.

The nonprofit organization that urges conservation and habitat expansion for pheasants and other wildlife will hold a free youth pheasant hunt on Dec. 3 at Three Arrows Hunting Preserve in LeRoy.

According to Sue Thorpe, youth chairperson for Mower Pheasants Forever, this is the first time the organization has put on a youth hunt. After brainstorming at their monthly meeting, Pheasants Forever members organized what will be an all-encompassing experience for youth.

“We really wanted to try to get the kids excited and get some parent involvement,” Thorpe said.

By holding the event at Three Acres Hunting Preserve, youth will be guaranteed shots at pheasants. That’s something Pheasants Forever members wanted to ensure, as the natural pheasant population is suffering this year.

“They take their gun safety training, and after that there isn’t a whole lot for them for pheasants in Mower County,” Thorpe said.

Now, an organized youth hunt offers a way for kids to put what they’ve learned in gun safety training to work in the field. All youth must have valid gun safety certificates to hunt, bring blaze orange gear, bring a shotgun and be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Pheasants Forever has thrown in a few perks, too.

Lunch will be provided, Pheasants Forever volunteers will be present to help, and hunting dogs will be available.

Furthermore, all participants will automatically be entered to win a .22-caliber rifle.

The deadline to sign up for the hunt is Nov. 30, and those interested can do so by calling Thorpe at 507-279-0374, or by e-mailing sthorpe66@gmail.com. As of Friday afternoon, there were five of 20 positions still available. Like true hunters, Pheasants Forever will hold the event snow or shine. Pheasants Forever accepts free-will donations.

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