Jakes Day offers area youth variety of activities

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Area youth will have the opportunity to get hands-on instruction and experience in a variety of outdoor events at the 3rd annual Porter Wagoner/Jakes Day sponsored by the Yampa Valley Yelpers.

The family event kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday immediately following the Huck Finn fishing derby at Loudy-Simpson park. The event is free for children up to age 17 and a free lunch will be served.

"We try to do this as inexpensively as possible because we know that money is always an issue," said Sandra Baird, Yampa Valley Yelpers member.

The Yampa Valley Yelpers are the local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation. In Moffat County, the Yelpers have worked to transplant wild turkeys from the Rifle and Grand Junction areas to a location west of Craig. The group is developing a new habitat for turkeys in our area and hopes to offer public hunting when the turkey population is suitable.

The Junior Organization of the federation is known as Jakes, or Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship. Jake is also the name used to identify a young wild turkey.

Members of the Jakes are usually required to pay a $5 annual membership fee that includes receiving the Jakes newsletter for one full year. However, in an effort to encourage participation from area youth, the Yelpers have purchased bulk memberships so that every child who attends Jakes day can do so free of charge.

The schedule of activities includes air rifle shooting, riding four-wheelers, archery, water safety, orienteering, mountain man demonstrations and information booths for kids. Children will be allowed to participate in all events after learning proper safety instructions and only if the child's parent or legal guardian signs an insurance waiver.

"We hope that kids will learn outdoor skills and understand hunting and wildlife," said Baird. "This is strong group effort for us and we are committed to teaching these skills."

Organizers of both Huck Finn Day and Jakes Day look forward to sharing their talents and interests with youngsters who will have fun in an educational setting.

"These kids will learn things like how to handle a bow and arrow or a fly rod and how to safely ride an ATV," Baird said.

For more information about the Yampa Valley Yelpers or the National Wild Turkey Federation or the Jake's Club contact Sandra Baird at 824-2455.

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