While many choose to spend a cold, rainy Saturday morning sleeping in and staying indoors, many area kids were outside enjoying an activity-filled morning at the Youth Pheasant Hunt and Trap Shoot.
The event, sponsored by the East Medicine Pheasants Forever, had 20 attendees, ready and eager to try their hand or hone their skills at pheasant hunting.
Diane Amundson, one of the members of the youth committee, was pleased with the turnout.
“It was really good - very successful,” Amundson said. “Once it stopped raining right at the start, the sun came out and it was a very decent day.”
The kids, after trying their hand at the archery range or clay pigeons, went out into the field in groups of five, each given the chance to get at least one pheasant, although several kids went home with two.
Although pheasant numbers have been down all over the Midwest, having the event at the pheasant preserve offered the chance for kids to shoot at trapped birds, each pheasant designated by flags in the field. But as Amundson explained, knowing where they were didn't make it easier.
“They still fly up, and the challenge of shooting them is still there,” Amundson said. “And at least they were able to get some shooting in. You could walk for miles without finding anything - this is the way hunting is. But for kids, it would be discouraging.”
The Youth Pheasant Hunt has grown from just five kids four years ago, and could have been a chapter high of 27 if all the registered kids had participated. Due to the rising numbers, the event will continue every year during the MEA weekend indefinitely.
Other than the East Medicine Pheasants Forever banquet in March, the youth committee has considered planning or attending other events in the future, like joining up with the Lyon County chapter that holds their own trap shoot in the summer, or getting a group to go to the Prairie Pothole Day in New London.