Johnny Morgan | 10/8/2009 1:46:51 AM
FRANKLINTON, La. – LSU AgCenter 4-H agents, parents and volunteers celebrated National Hunting and Fishing Day Sept. 26 at the LSU AgCenter’s Southeast Research Station here.
More than 250 4-H’ers participated in an outdoor skills field day that included shooting sports, fishing sports and ATV safety, said Stefen Givens, 4-H natural resources agent from St. Helena Parish.
Givens said many of the participants had never shot a shotgun or bow-and-arrow before.
“A field day like this is designed to get them out, and it gives them a feel for what the outdoor skills program is all about,” he said.
The 4-H members not only got to shoot different firearms but also were certified as safe hunters, said Lacey Urick, LSU AgCenter 4-H agent in Washington Parish.
“I’m teaching the hunter safety course, but before they got here they have taken the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries online course to get their certificate,” Urick said. “Then they come here and watch some videos to make sure they understood the online material. Then they do some shooting exercises, and this qualifies them through the hunter certification process.”
Urick said the participants include 4-H Clover Buds, who are under eight years old and participated with BB guns. Those nine years old and above participated with shotguns, rifles and bows-and-arrows.
Givens and his wife, Sandra, a vocational agriculture teacher at Mt. Hermon High School, worked with the ATV safety event.
Givens said the field day is one of many similar events conducted around the state to celebrate hunting and fishing in the American culture.
“Really, all across the country there are events celebrating National Hunting and Fishing Day, which became official by the signature of President Nixon in 1972,” he said.
Hailey Seals, a nine-year-old student at Thomas Elementary School in Pine, said she is a new 4-H member and loving every minute of it.
“I learned that to be the best, you have to try your hardest,” she said. “I’m doing fishing sports today.”
Hailey said she has the best time in 4-H by being involved and just having fun.
Givens said the next outdoor event is 4-H Adventures Camp Nov. 6-7 on the Bogue Chitto River.
“The 4-H’ers will come and camp out, and they will cook their meals on open fire,” he said. “We’ll also be taking a canoe trip down the river for a couple of hours.”
Additional information on the LSU AgCenter’s Outdoor Skills program is available from Givens at 225-222-4136 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information also is available on the LSU AgCenter Web site at www.lsuagcenter.com.