Tennessee –-(Ammoland.com)- More than 120 student-athletes from Tennessee’s Scholastic Clay Target Program assembled at the Lannom Center in Dyersburg the evening of Feb. 3 with their parents, coaches, sponsors and guides to kick off the 4th Annual Tennessee Wildlife Federation Davis P. Rice Youth Waterfowl Hunt.
At the banquet Friday, a crowd of about 300 enjoyed a barbecue dinner while TWF Director of Ecological Services Chad Whittenburg served as master of ceremonies and hunt director. No one left empty handed – gear from Delta Waterfowl, Final Flight Outfitters and Ducks Unlimited was given away hand over fist, and a lifetime license and college scholarships were presented to a few lucky winners.
Tom Rice, a longtime TWF Board member whose son, Davis, was killed in an automobile accident in 2007, has always been focused on introducing kids to the outdoors. Rice funded one Tennessee Lifetime Hunting License, won by 14-year-old Emily DeCuir of Spring Hill.
Several students won cash scholarships. Murphy Watkins of McKenzie and Alicia Smits of Spring Hill each won $250 scholarships from Delta Waterfowl; Hunter Finan of Jackson and Ryan Scarlett of New Market won a $250 prize from Final Flight; And last but not least, Bryan Tefft of New Johnsonville and Hunter York of Dickson each won $500 scholarships from the TWF’s Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program.
Saturday morning found the young hunters spread across 18 farms in West Tennessee. RIO Ammunition had provided shotgun shells, and the guides were able to work ducks and geese into range.
“These kids are excellent shooters, but the majority of them had never been hunting before,” Whittenburg says. “It was an experience they likely won’t forget, and we sparked an interest that will help continue that great tradition.”
In addition to TWF, Delta Waterfowl, Final Flight Outfitters, RIO Ammunition and the Tennessee Army National Guard, other sponsors included Sweeping Corporation of America, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the City of Dyersburg, Dyersburg Chamber of Commerce, Ducks Unlimited and Stites & Harbison PLC.
The Purpose of the Tennessee Wildlife Federation is to champion the conservation, sound management and enjoyment of Tennessee’s wildlife and natural resources for current and future generations through stewardship, advocacy and education. Visit: www.tnwf.org