On Saturday, June 29, the Oregon Hunters Association hosted its annual Youth Day event from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cottonwood Meadow Campgrounds.
President and Regional Dir. Gerald Slay pooled his resources and volunteers together to educate approximately 40 kids on a multitude of outdoor skills.
Although last year’s event had almost double the attendees of this year’s event, Youth Day 2013 had to compete with a swim meet and the Walk for the Animals events.
But those that did attend were informed of the do’s and don’ts of hunting, and the dangers of poaching.
“This is all about education,” Slay said when asked about the focus of the annual event.
The hunting and gun safety training was taught by Craig Foster of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Buzz Johnston. They centered their course around respect for firearms and nature, among other things.
Pat Peterson, vice-president of the OHA Archery division, and his son Nolan Peterson taught the basics of archery, target shooting, and showed children how to handle arrows, bows, and targets.
Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel Tague and brother Ryan Tague headed the Search and Rescue class, which showed students what to bring in a survival backpack, how to start a fire, how to make a shelter to protect against the elements, and the basic survival hierarchy.
There were also two courses set aside for the kids ages 12 to 17, who competed in a half-day archery competition and a half-day .22 Live Fire shooting competition. The archery contest featured the students doing a walkthrough aiming at a 3D target, and the .22 shooting competition had students participate in a shoot-off.