Youth take part in air gun event during the MSFF

During the Mountain State Forest Festival as you were walking through Elkins City Park, you probably noticed the many vendors, food wagons and animals. However, this year there was a new addition to the park, just for children ages 17 and younger.

Tucked between trees, the local Tygart Valley Chapter of National Wildlife Wild Turkey Federation brought the West Virginia NWTF’s JAKES (Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportmanship) Take Aim Air gun trailer to introduce youth in our area to the fun of shooting in a safe, fun environment.

During the three days, the trailer was visited by 551 boys and girls who waited in line for their turn. NWTF chapters across North America hold JAKES Take Aim events to present the opportunity for youth ages 17 and under to try this free target shooting program. Each NWTF state chapter will receive a fully equipped air gun trailer to be used during JAKES Day or other youth events.

JAKES Day events are sponsored by local chapters that teach youth hunting and safety ethics, along with passing on the traditions of responsible hunting and teaching the principles of habitat


The JAKES Take Aim event, which is a physical activity, also gets youth away from the TV and off the couch. Other benefits include building personal responsibility, improved hand and eye coordination, fine motor skills and


The trailer will be returning for next year’s Forest Festival and was organized this year by Tygart Valley Chapter members Bill Bargo, Ray Mearns, Don Thomason and Randall Watkins.