TOWNSEND, Mont. – This past weekend, the Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) held a youth shooting competition in conjunction with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Camporee at the fairgrounds in Townsend, Montana. There were a number of events for the scouts to participate in, from a Navy flight simulator, to rock wall climbing, to rope making – but some of the longest lines throughout the weekend were at the Mule Deer Foundation’s M.U.L.E.Y. (Mindful, Understanding, Legal, Ethical Youth) shooting lanes. MDF’s M.U.L.E.Y. program is funded by Larry and Brenda Potterfield and the MidwayUSA Foundation.
Using pellet guns and electronic targets, Boy Scouts ages 11 through 18 competed in four different age groups for bragging rights and prizes. First through third place awards included Alpen binoculars, Buck knives and MDF merchandise.
The first-place shooters in each age group shot five bulls eyes in the times indicated:
- Conner Longson, Dillon, Mont., 11-12 year olds, 12.3 seconds
- Tyler Van Slyke, Dillon, Mont., 13-14 year olds, 9.1 seconds
- Ferguson Jeffery, Livingston, Mont., 15-16 year olds, 13.7 seconds
- Ian DeMonay, Butte, Mont., 17-18 year olds, 17.1 seconds
MDF Chairman of the Board Kenn Loch, who helped coach at the event, said, “We’re teaching kids about not only the safety aspects of shooting, but also proper form. The kids with the least amount of shooting experience seem to show the most enthusiasm. You make some assumptions about Boy Scouts – about what they may or may not do, and it’s obvious some of these kids have never fired a gun, ever in their life. So we come here and kind of take away some of that mystique, and it’s all about safety. There’s one rule: keep it pointed down range!”
Loch continued, “This has also been an opportunity to talk to these kids about conservation and the Mule Deer Foundation. We’re giving them free Youth Memberships to MDF, along with a hunting video and magazine. They’ve been very good and polite Boy Scouts, as I would expect.”
The Mule Deer Foundation is one of the key conservation groups in North America working to restore, improve and protect mule deer, black-tailed deer and their habitat. With a focus on science and program efficiency, MDF has raised millions of dollars and put countless man-hours on the ground for mission-critical projects. MDF acknowledges regulated hunting as a viable management component and is committed to recruitment and retention of youth into the shooting sports and conservation. Get involved at www.muledeer.org or call 1-888-375-DEER.
Marshall Johnson 406-850-8785 or [email protected]