Middle River Dispatches is a gumbo of posts about fly-fishing, conservation, politics and days afield.

Shooting for Hunters for the Hungry

I took the occasion of a lovely fall day this past Sunday to shoot in the Hunters for the Hungry benefit shoot. I am delighted we are getting some rain here in the Valley, but the break in the weather was

The shoot took place at Flying Rabbit Sporting Clays in Mt. Crawford. It was a fun shoot with 113 shooters competing on the 100-target course.

Congratulations go to Glen Tharp, Russ Ringler, T.R. Whetzel, Jeff Smith and Nathan Mongold. Each one had the high score in their class. Tharp was high scorer overall breaking 94 of 100 targets. The winner in the long bird shoot was Waynesboro’s own Watson Lewis.

Hunters for the Hungry is one of those programs that can really make a difference to people in need. In these times of economic hardship for so many people, the generosity of hunters who share the bounty of their time afield is especially important.

Professional meat processors across the state, including a half a dozen here in the Valley, cut, wrap and freeze the meat for distribution. In 2008 food banks, church groups and the Salvation Army distributed more than 380,000 pounds of low-fat, high-protein meat to folks in need.

Those hunters who contribute some, or all, of the game they harvest are carrying on one of the proudest hunting traditions — sharing in the success of the hunt.

Too often these days hunting is seen as an out-dated pastime. Hunters are an important economic contributor to our local economy. Just as importantly, they are helping provide food that is both local and healthy —something we need to be doing more of.

In talking with the organizers of the event, John Alexander and Rick Hill, owners of Flying Rabbit, and Gary Arrington, special projects coordinator for Hunters for the Hungry, they all spoke of their appreciation for the support from the community, both financially and in the numbers of volunteers that made the event a success.

“The support from the community was 125 percent,” said Hill. Not 100 percent, 125 percent.”

The event attracted more than $10,000 in financial contributions as well as donated products and services. The volunteer support for the event was significant as well.

“We had over thirty volunteers from groups like the National Wild Turkey Federation, Quality Deer Management Association, Buckmasters as well as students from JMU,” said Alexander.

By the way, I shot a 68, respectable for me but not good enough to win a trophy.

The Virginia Council of Trout Unlimited elected new officers this past Saturday at the fall council meeting at Graves Mountain Lodge in Syria.

Outgoing president John Ross presided over the election of Bill Pierce as the new president, James “Chubby” Damron as first vice president, Richard Landreth as vice president for education, Bob Rosenthal as vice president for policy and Jason McGarvey, as vice president for communications.

David Jones, Marcia Woolman and Jay Henderson were elected to the three at-large seats and I was elected as the council’s representative to TU’s National Leadership Council.

The council also congratulated Woolman and Ross for receiving awards at Trout Unlimited’s 50th anniversary banquet in August.

TU’s highest national award for volunteer leadership was awarded to Woolman, she is the first woman to earn the award. Ross was one of seven leaders to receive the organization’s Distinguished Service Award.

Whether you hunt or fish or just enjoy the great outdoors for its on sake, when you support a community event or join a group that is working for the future of the resource you are helping keep the hunting and fishing tradition alive for future generations.

You can read more of my columns at the News Virginian.com.

Some of the winners show off da hardware!

Some of the winners show off da hardware!

yours truly 'bout to put the hurt on some clays

yours truly 'bout to put the hurt on some clays

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