Dove Hunt and Clinic

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COLUMBIA - There will be a free clinic and hunt Friday and Saturday to introduce youth to dove hunting.

The event, which is geared toward children ages 8-15, will be taking place over the course of two days at Prairie Fork Conservation Area in Williamsburg, Missouri.

The clinic will be held Friday, September 2. The clinic will teach children how to properly use and shoot a weapon as well as safety in the field.

Nicole Walker, one of the wildlife biologists for the Missouri Department of Conservation said the first day is important so the participants can learn important skills.

“For many youth, this is their first time getting to hold a firearm, so [the clinic] allows them to be extremely safe,” said Walker.

The following day, September 3, the event will continue with a mentored dove hunt. In order to go on the hunt, the participants must fully attend the clinic.

Walker is in her fourth year of working at the clinic. She sees the clinic as a way for a family to safely become more acquainted with weapons.

“When they’re holding a firearm it teaches them how to practice gun control and how to have their muzzle in a safe location and not pointing at people,” said Walker.

All participants must have their hunter education certification prior to starting the clinic and should come with a properly licensed adult mentor. If the youth are unable to bring a mentor along, one will be provided by the Department of Conservation.

David Heggemeier, owner of Heggemeier Game Farm and Kennels believes that by youth learning about weapons at a young age, it gives them a chance to experience and learn something new.

“The main thing is that it gets the kids off the couch. I like computers, I like gamerooms, it gets them learning more what’s outside,” said Heggemeier.

The Missouri Department of Conservation is sponsoring the event and has partnered with the national Wild Turkey Federation.

Adults are allowed to accompany their children so long as they signed up before the deadline of August 26.

This will be the event’s ninth year and begins on the opening weekend of the 2016 dove season.