Fifth annual Heroes Tribute Hunt slated for March 23


By Jim Freeman - In The Open



The fifth annual Heroes Tribute Hunt will be held Saturday, March 23 at the Gallipolis Elks Farm near Gallipolis.

The hunt is geared towards disabled veterans and has several sponsors including the Appalachian Valley Chapter of the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA), McKean Farms Upland Hunting Preserve, Gallipolis Elks Club, and the Emblem Club. The event is funded by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources-Division of Wildlife, and the Wildlife & Sport Fish Restoration Project – so it is essentially paid for by sportsmen and women.

The Heroes Tribute Hunt honors disabled, service-connected veterans and their families by offering opportunities to attend and enjoy family oriented outdoor events. The veterans will also be provided a guided upland game bird hunt, which will allow them to experience a truly enjoyable time in the field with experienced hunting dogs and their handlers.

Prior to going afield, qualified personnel will give presentations and demonstrations about the safe handling and use of firearms, and afterwards there will be presentations related to the proper care of the harvested game. Throughout the day, the veterans will be accompanied by an individual assigned to them offering as-needed assistance and information before, during, and after each hunt.

Family fun activities for both veterans and their family members will also be held to introduce or reintroduce individuals of all ages to diverse outdoor activities. Hands-on activities include the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s Passport to Fishing and National Archery in the Schools Programs. Safe shotgun handling and shooting instruction, along with the opportunity to shoot on a modified sporting clays course, is being offered at various times throughout the day. All attendees will be encouraged to actively participate in a presentation about the training and proper care of versatile hunting dogs, this demonstration will provide insight to the training path used to develop the finished dogs used in the field.

Participants will also be treated to breakfast and lunch, and the day will end with a sit-down dinner for veterans, their families, and the volunteers.

It is a whole day’s worth of activities. The day starts early at Gallipolis Elks Farm off state Route 588 and the hunts will take place at McKean’s Farm Upland Hunting Preserve. Weather-wise, remember that anything can happen in late March, so bring the proper clothing and dress accordingly. All-terrain vehicles and volunteers will be on hand to help transport those needing assistance.

All activities and services are provided at no cost. Registration opened Jan. 1 and participants will be selected through a digital lottery system. To register, volunteer, or for more information, go to www.avchapter.wixsite.com/appalachian-valley or contact Robyn Slone at 740-416-4225 or robyn_slone@yahoo.com, or check out Appalachian Valley Chapter of NAVHDA on Facebook.

Gallia Cattlemen hosting black vulture and coyote presentation

Black vultures, coyotes, and other animals can wreak havoc on small local farms, businesses, parks, and homes. These creatures may affect us all in different ways. They can prey on our livestock like baby calves, chickens, and lambs. These predators also have been documented as preying on our pets like cats, dogs, and rabbits.

The Gallia County Cattlemen’s Association is holding an informational dinner with guest speakers on the costly pests. Speakers include Jeff Pelc, wildlife biologist from the U.S Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services, Jim Herrell of the Farm Service Agency, and the local Wildlife Officer, Roy Rucker. Those in attendance will learn how to identify and distinguish the difference between turkey vultures and black vultures, as well as learn the appropriate laws and potential compensation from the USDA programs.

The dinner will be held Feb. 23 at Buckeye Hills Career Center near Rio Grande. Registration starts at 5:30 p.m. with dinner following at 6 p.m. All are invited. Dinner will be $10 and Cattlemen’s Memberships will be available at the door. Dinner will include steak or brisket, potatoes, vegetables, salad, rolls, and a dessert. To RSVP or for more information contact Cliff Riehm at 740-645-8522 or email at cattlemancliff@gmail.com

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By Jim Freeman

In The Open