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Longbeards to host major youth event

The Marengo County Longbeards Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will be hosting its first Feathers-Fins-Fur event July 31 through Aug. 2 at Foscue Park. The event is geared toward young outdoorsmen and will serve to help develop the organization’s JAKES program.

MCLC committee chairman Brandon Smith said the group has been planning the event for approximately four months.

“We’re trying to expose youth to the outdoors. We’re going to offer every variety of outdoor life we can with camping, deer hunting, turkey hunting and fishing,” Smith said.

To put together Feathers-Fins-Fur, the group has partnered with the U.S. ARmy Corps of Engineers, Moss Oak Pro Staff, Avery Pro Staff, the Alabama Wildlife Federation, Westervelt Wildlife Services, Alabama Bow Hunters, Hot and Hot Fish Club, Gaston Game Calls, Ducks Unlimited and Capps Taxidermist.

The event will allow attendees to spend three three days and two nights at Foscue Park as they learn about various forms of hunting and fishing while being afforded the opportunity to hone their skills at each.

The first 50 children who sign up to do so will also be allowed to complete their Online Hunter’s Safety Course on Friday, July 31. The FFF event itself is limited to the first 200 children aged 10 through 16 who register either online or by contacting Smith.

“This is the first time we’ve done it. Next year, we hope to have more (spaces available),” Smith said. “This year, we’re just shooting for 200.”

The event costs $35 per person and attendees are instructed to have an adult guardian present with them.

“There’s going to be a lot of eating and a lot of good times,” Smith said. “They’re just going to be moving from station to station and getting to mingle with vendors in each area.”

Smith said the event has largely been made possible by the participation of the companies and vendors who have agreed to be present.

“Most of it has been Ducks Unlimited and the National Wild Turkey Federation,” he said. “People have bent over backward to try and help with every company we’ve called.”

The $35 registration fee includes six meals, two nights of camping space, inclusion in all raffles, an event T-shirt and membership in JAKES and Green Wings.

“We’re going to give it all back in prizes and other stuff,” Smith said.

Registration is open through July 12 at www.ducks.org/states/31/events/event18553.html.

After July 12, registration is available by contacting Smith at 334-289-3540.