JAKES introduces youth to the outdoors

Special to Rifle and Rod

The National Wild Turkey Federation’s JAKES and Xtreme JAKES programs introduce youth to hunting, fishing, camping and the outdoors through field days, local chapter events, scholarships, and more.

Hundreds of JAKES, Xtreme JAKES and JAKES Take Aim events are held across the United States and Canada each year. There is also a JAKES Country Magazine for members of its youth programs.

JAKES, which stands for Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship, is dedicated to informing, educating and involving youth in wildlife conservation and the wise stewardship of the United States’ natural resources.

NWTF chapters give youth ages 12 and younger chances to explore their outdoor world through fun events that help pass on the traditions of responsible hunting, teach the principles of habitat management, hunting ethics and safety.

Xtreme JAKES gives youth ages 13-17 opportunities and challenges more in line with their abilities and experiences. Xtreme JAKES learn to be responsible outdoorsmen and women through fishing, camping and other outdoor activities. They learn to identify plants and animals, as well as how to effectively call in those elusive toms through hunting seminars taught by legends in the field.

The JAKES Take Aim program presents opportunities for youth ages 17 and younger to try target shooting, clay target shooting and shotgunning in a safe, fun environment.

The local NWTF chapter is known as the Lake Seminole Spurs. Their website is lsspurs.com and they have an up-to-date Facebook page. The current president is Sean Hader, who can be reached at (229) 400-3779. Although a JAKES Day isn’t currently planned for this year, the Lake Seminole Spurs will hold its annual banquet in July.

The official JAKES website, which includes more information as well as some free content from the magazine is www.nwtf.org/jakes.

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