Kids give up smart phones for shotguns at Ducks Unlimited event

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53f03297ebddd.imageNearly a hundred youngsters from pre-school age to their mid-teens dropped their video games and cell phones for shotguns and archery gear Saturday.

The Rome chapter of Ducks Unlimited hosted the annual Greenwing Youth Outdoor Day at the Georgia Department of Natural Resources compound on Floyd Springs Road.

Ryan Lindsey, area chairman for the Rome chapter of Ducks Unlimited, said the whole idea of the event is to get kids back outdoors. “We live in a day and time where cell phones, computers and video games are taking up more of our youth’s time,” Lindsey said. “There’s a lot more you can see and do outside than sitting in front of a computer with a video game or texting on a cell phone.”

53f032b4ecac1.imageParticipants had an opportunity to shoot skeet with shotguns, try out their archery skills on 3-D targets and experience the Arrowhead Wildlife Education Center.

Cole Couey, 12, and Connor Yarbrough, 12, both from Rome, each looked like pros when they stepped up to the skeet range.

Both nailed the flying clay targets and both professed a love for hunting. Cole said he enjoys duck hunting because of the moving target. “Deer are almost standing still or moving real slow,” he added. Connor said he had been dove hunting before and really liked that.

53f0321ca2d70.imageDavid Gregory, a wildlife biologist with the Department of Natural Resources, said the Greenwing event is critical to fostering interest in the outdoors among young people today. “Without people to introduce the youth to hunt we may not have future hunters. That’s important from a recreation standpoint as well as from a wildlife management standpoint,” Gregory said. “Hunting is one of the best wildlife management tools we have.”

Ethan Baker, 6 of Adairsville, was excited to hit one of the 3-D targets during the bow-and-arrow shoot. The youngest participants didn’t get to fire shotguns but were allowed to shoot BB guns at paper targets.

Lindsey said he got interested in duck hunting as a teenager, joined Ducks Unlimited and became a member of the Greenwing committee at the age of 16.

The kids had a pizza lunch with sodas and had bottled water to keep them hydrated throughout the day.

Source: Northwest Georgia News

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