Over 100 Register for Southern Illinois Youth Duck Hunt

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By Nick Hausen

ANNA -- Hundreds of adults and kids gathered in Anna Tuesday night to kick off the Southern Illinois Youth Duck Hunt, an event hosted by the Muddy Kids Foundation.

"We want kids to know that the outdoors is a fantastic place to participate in and be a part of and duck hunting is just a part of that tradition," said Gene Morgan, director of the Muddy Kids Foundation.

Youth hunters are allowed on public land like Horseshoe lake and some private clubs even open their doors for the event.

IDNR Director Marc Miller was the guest of honor at the banquet Tuesday night and plans to hunt with the kids Wednesday.

"We have youth waterfowl hunts, small hunts. We have large hunts. This probably is the largest one that we have and what's significant about this, is its size and the number of people that come together to make it happen," said Miller.

More than 100 children registered to hunt with each participant receiving a prize at the banquet. The prizes ranged from hats to shotguns.

Some hunters have been waiting all year for this event.

"I'm really excited because they said they've been seeing a lot of birds and hopefully we'll be able to kill a bunch," explained hunter Tanner Watts.

Boys and girls are encouraged to attend the hunt.

"I love hunting, it's one of my favorite things to do," said hunter Gabby Billings.

The adults agreed, and said the event is one of their favorites as well.

The Muddy Kids Foundation has worked with the IDNR to hold the youth duck hunt for several years.

The event is open to kids ages 10 to 15.
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