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By Chris Gregory, Managing Editor

Area youth were able to get their first shot (no pun intended) at hunting Saturday morning thanks to a joint venture between state and local agencies.

Wildlife officials from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency brought 11 youth from Sumner and Trousdale counties to Hartsville to experience a morning turkey hunt on local farms.

Warden Russell Washburn of CoreCivic’s Trousdale Turner Correctional Center and Robby Atwood of Trousdale Comfort Heat & Air also helped organize the event and went with the kids, who all were hunting for the first time.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette

“As wildlife officers, part of our job is outreach and education,” said Eric Anderson, TWRA wildlife officer for Sumner County. “We saw a need in this area for youth, to teach and give them opportunities to hunt.”

All the youth were members of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes or the Muddy Bayou archery team out of Gallatin, Anderson said. The group met at the Hartsville Community Center at 4:30 a.m. for breakfast and then went to various local farms with the permission of the landowners.

Five of the 11 youth hunters had the chance to shoot at a turkey and all participants spotted at least one. Anderson said the shot rate was impressive for a group of novice hunters.

“It was a teaching experience in this sport and hopefully they’ll grow from there,” Anderson said.

TWRA and CoreCivic wish to thank the landowners of Trousdale County who offered their properties for the youth hunt: Martha Dixon, Julie Chaffin, Tommy Thompson, Lewis Beasley, Blake, Jason and Stanley Holder.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.