As determined as Mother Nature has been to burn the living daylights out of us while we watch our ponds dry up and St. Augustine and centipede die, she can't keep her hold on this horrendous hot dry weather pattern forever. September is here and while we'll undoubtedly see more heat, Fall is coming and with the season change, the weather will become more tolerable.
As we ponder the more pleasant days ahead, there are events on the horizon that are certain to whet the appetite of area outdoor sportsmen, women and youngsters. One event in particular will take place on Saturday September 10 at the Ouachita Parish Shooting Facility off Well Road in W. Monroe. It's the Louisiana Fall Classic Outreach Event sponsored by the Louisiana state chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation.
Luke Lewis, Ruston, is wildlife biologist for the NWTF and he is both excited and a bit apprehensive about the upcoming event.
"This is our first attempt to host this many events at one time so we don't have anything to gauge how it will go," said Lewis. "On the other hand, we're very excited because this will be a wholesome event for the entire family that features good clean fun, food, competition and a host of other activities that are sure to be of interest to just about everybody."
Indeed, this special day will feature a competitive Five Stand shoot at clay targets, a 3-D shoot as well as a long-range archery shooting competition. In addition, the Women in the Outdoors event will definitely be of interest to the ladies with demonstrations, hands-on projects and for those interested, the opportunity to compete in Five Stand and 3-D archery. There will also be events for the youngsters (JAKES) as well as activities for handicapped hunters under the Wheelin' Sportsman program. There will be a silent auction going on in conjunction with the day's event as well.
"It's worth the trip over the West Monroe just to see this amazing shooting facility. Out state chapter underwrote some $50,000 in the range and it's something anyone interested in the shooting sports can be proud of," Lewis explained.
"If you want to come over and sight in your hunting rifle, shoot pistols or try your hand at shooting clay targets, this is the place to go. There is a nominal day-use charge plus monthly or yearly permits available for a reasonable fee that will allow the whole family to have access to this facility.
"One thing that is unusual about the Ouachita Parish Shooting Range is the availability of archery shooting for handicapped individuals; there's probably not another such facility offering this opportunity anywhere else in our part of the country. It's also one of the few such places in the southern United States that can host this many people at one time," Lewis added.
Why has the state NWTF chapter taken on such a monumental event offering so many activities for so many groups at one time and in one place?
"This is a fund raising activity for us. The monies raised at this and other such events will go toward the betterment of wild turkeys, birds that have become established over most of their historical range in Louisiana. Much of this success is due to volunteers and people who see the big picture and are willing to invest time and dollars to insure that there will be wild turkeys roaming the hills and hollows of Louisiana from now on out," Lewis noted.
Glynn Harris Outdoors is proudly sponsored by DSK, Ltd. of Minden.