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The Carthage Press
  • Young people shoot, throw knives, at Turkey Federation event

  • The first time Ben Kahler, Joplin, stepped up to the line to toss four throwing knives at a target about 15 feet away, only one of the knives stuck in the target.
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  • The first time Ben Kahler, Joplin, stepped up to the line to toss four throwing knives at a target about 15 feet away, only one of the knives stuck in the target.
    The second time he stepped up, he stuck three of the four knives deep in the wooden target and walked away beaming after giving a hearty fist bump to the instructor.
    It's exactly that kind of excitement, about doing things outdoors and away from the video games, that the members of the local Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation were hoping to instill in area young people when they started the Extreme Jakes Free Youth Event.
    "This is our third year and we started out with 10 kids on a cold March day," said Jerry Hartman, President of the Carthage Spring River Toms Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation.
    "Last year we had 30 kids and this year we had 51 sign up," Hartman said. "We want to get kids outdoors, get them interested in the outdoors and conservation and get them out of the house."
    It's the second year the leaders of the Royal Rangers Outpost 357, associated with the Joplin Church Alive, signed up to bring their members to the event.
    Kathryn Harryman, a leader of the Royal Rangers, said they brought 29 young people to the event, and plan to continue coming out as long as the Spring River Toms continue hosting it.
    "We really try to encourage our young people to get outdoors, experience the outdoors and not be so infatuated with video games," Harryman said. "This is an excellent opportunity for our kids to learn about the outdoors and safety and do things like shoot guns and shoot bows and arrows that they don't get to do every day."
    Groups of young people traveled to different stations on the grounds of the flight park. The Missouri Department of Conservation brought agents to talk to the youths about hunting safety and fur-bearing animals. The agents also brought out bows and arrows and shotguns for the kids to shoot.
    Dusty and Tammy Henderson, Neosho, brought their muzzle-loading rifles and showed the young people how those worked. They even gave the kids a chance to fire the rifles.
    Other volunteers brought out a knife-throwing and tomahawk-throwing station, while the Jasper County Sheriff's office K9 officer, and two fire trucks from the Jasper Fire Department were on hand.

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