It was the Elmo Pugh Memorial Conservation Field Day. The site was the Pugh estate in central Jasper County. The main event of this day last Saturday was a deer hunt for members of J.A.K.E.S., (Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship), the youth who belong to the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF.)

The very progressive Tallahala Longbeards Chapter of the NWTF was sponsor of the hunt and the site for the gathering was provided by the generous Pugh family.

Elmo Pugh was a successful forest conservationist and was recognized during the ceremonies with presentations made to his widow, Mrs. Irene Pugh, their daughters and many members of his family. Mrs. Pugh, who had turned 93 on Friday, addressed the group and offered a sincere welcome.

Things to know

This writer was the speaker for a session on preserving the hunting heritage and another one for creating and appreciating outdoor memories, and was fortunate enough to attend sessions on natural deer forage, antler development, firearms safety and shooting.

A highlight of the day was a catered barbeque lunch served for the huge crowd on real china. Girl and boy hunters, their families, land owners, hunting guides, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP) specialists, Pugh farm personnel and guests enjoyed this sunny, fall day at the farm headquarters, which is surrounded by colorful woodlands.

The hunts took place on the Pugh property and at several other locations, hunting stand locations donated for this special youth hunt. The MDWFP has wisely established a special youth deer season that begins one week before the first deer firearms season. During this time youngsters less than 16 years of age can harvest does or any buck with hardened antlers.

Special hunts

Groups such as the NWTF chapters often sponsor youth hunts that are free to participants. This year one of those groups was the Tallahala Longbeards Chapter of the NWTF which has members from all parts of Jasper County.

During the afternoon hunt, several deer were taken and several were missed. However, another young hunter bagged both a doe and a buck. During the after-hunt session he was looking for a microphone to tell his “story” to the crowd.

The Pugh family, James Bryant, President of the Longbeards Chapter, landowners and guides deserve special thanks for bringing this memorable hunt to the youth of that area.

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