They are called Extreme JAKES – members of the National Wild Turkey Federation ages 13 to 18- and they are the future of turkey hunting. We have all heard that young folks just aren't getting into hunting like our parents and grandparents did. Not enough time, no one to take them and teach them and just waning interest. Whatever the reason, the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) and the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) understands the importance of getting these young people involved in hunting. One way they do this is by hosting Extreme JAKES events. JAKES (Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship) events like the ones held recently at the Rover Gun Club encourage these youth by involving them in a free, fun filled day of shooting sports. The highlight of the recent event was the drawing for a Mossberg 12 gauge pump shotgun. Additional prizes included turkey calls and decoys, hats, t-shirts, and other items donated by the NWTF, MDC and area businesses. Extreme JAKES events are open to all members of the NWTF ages 13 through 18.
The mission of the NWTF to conserve the wild turkey and preserve of our hunting heritage. Other events like the annual JAKES Day held at the Twin Pines Conservation Education Center in Winona attract hundreds of youth and parents alike to learn about the wild turkey. Skills like turkey call making, calling, game tracking, archery, and gun safety are showcased at the programs. The NWTF started the JAKES program as a way to give youth 12 years old and younger the chance to explore the outdoors through events like this to learn skills and avocations that will last them a life time.
The annual Winona NWTF Superfund Banquet provides funding for these events plus funds to improve wildlife habitat and promote the sport of turkey hunting locally and throughout the state of Missouri. MDC partners with the NWTF and other organizations to make Missouri a great place to hunt and fish. For more information about the NWTF, local JAKES or Extreme JAKES events, contact your local NWTF Chapter. For events in the Shannon, Carter or Ripley County area, contact Twin Pines Conservation Education Center.