I’ll be the first to admit, I was a bit nervous about how a big change in the location for this past weekend’s National Hunting and Fishing Day might affect turnout and how the activities went. But after more than 30 years in one spot, the move from the LDWF headquarters off Hwy. 165 in Monroe to the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office Shooting Range near Cheniere Lake in West Monroe went without a hitch. The move was made necessary because of the huge CenturyTel expansion that would have made traffic management a nightmare at the old location.
The Shooting Range area is a super nice facility and the shooting range, skeet stations, archery range and display areas were great. There is plenty of parking and I didn’t hear a single complaint. Hats off to LDWF’s Dana Norsworthy and Zach Bounds for heading up this effort and to all the department personnel who made sure things went well. I’m a bit prejudiced, but I have to give it an “A”. In fact, events like this all over the state Saturday offered young people a chance to share learning about the outdoors with their parents and friends. If you missed it, make a mental note to try better next year!
The best part of it all was seeing all the young people there and the volunteers patiently helping them cast a lure, shoot BB guns or aim a bow and arrow. Even LDWF Secretary Robert Barham made the trip up from Baton Rouge and enjoyed the day’s activities in West Monroe.
There were lots of door prizes and raffles at the National Hunting and Fishing Day. There were two lucky winners that signed up and won prizes from Simmons’ Sporting Goods at the lakedarbonnelife.com tent. They were Sonya Hancock of Downsville, who won a $50 Simmons’ gift certificate, and Ford Sparks of Monroe, who won a dozen duck decoys and carry bag. Congratulations. If you haven’t been contacted already, you can pick up your prizes at the LDWF office in Monroe (See Dana Norsworthy).
The future of hunting, fishing, conservation and outdoor appreciate lies with young people who learn how to use these resources wisely and respect the outdoors. This day is one big step in that direction.