Area youths had a chance to try their hand at pheasant hunting on Oct. 28 at the Junior Apprentice Pheasant Hunt at Lake Earl Wildlife Area.

The event started with a hunter safety briefing for kids to review the information that they learned in the class they had to complete to sign up for the Pheasant Hunt.

After that, the kids had a couple hours to try to bag their own pheasants.

"Basically, the kids went out with a volunteer adult and a dog handler and they have an opportunity to hunt pheasants," said Robin Galea, wife of event organizer Frank Galea. "They can bag up to two birds. Some of the kids were lucky enough to get to two and some don't get any, but they generally all get some shooting in."

Everyone involved was also treated to a barbecue, held between the morning and afternoon hunting sessions.

Similar pheasant hunts have been set up around the state by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Frank Galea of Galea Wildlife Consulting volunteered to set up the annual event in Del Norte.

Robin Galea said the Del Norte hunt had one of the best hunter success rates in the state - if notthebest.

Other community businesses donated time and/or money to help sponsor the event, including the Lake Earl Grange, Ward Stover of Stover Engineering, Mike Rossini of Coast True Value, Chris Hegnes of Englund Marine and the Del Norte Resource Conservation District. The Brookings Bi-Mart also helped to sponsor the event for the first time this year, giving each of the participants a $10 gift card.

In all, 26 kids under the age of 16 turned out for the hunt.

"There was a good ratio of girls and boys," Robin Galea said. "The people that came had really nice things to say about it. The kids really enjoyed it, the volunteers were good; it is really kind of people to bring their dogs, it was just really nice."

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