The Amicalola Longbeards Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will hold its sixth annual Hunting Heritage Banquet at 6 p.m. Jan. 23 at Rock Creek Sports Complex.
Like the national organization, the Amicalola Longbeards Chapter is a nonprofit group dedicated to a mission of conserving wild turkeys and preserving hunting traditions.
Friday’s event will include gun raffles, giveaways, and several auctions to raise money for various local wildlife initiatives, such as annual squirrel hunts hosted by the Longbeards in conjunction with the Department of Natural Resources.
Keith Mulkey, a spokesman for the Amicalola Longbeards, said the organization was able to step up and offer assistance with the DNR squirrel hunt after the state cut funding.
The last squirrel hunt, held in December, brought dozens of young hunters to the north Georgia region to gain valuable hunting insight from experienced hunters.
“Despite the rainy weather the kids didn’t let the rain dampen their good time,” Mulkey said, adding the young hunters spent several hours clay target shooting and firing 22’s at the small arms range.
Later, due to the bad weather, only 15 of the 40 young sportsmen decided they wanted to go hunting. “Out of the 15 kids, 11 squirrels were harvested,” Mulkey said.
Michael Brown, of Dallas, went home the hunt’s winner and was awarded a Mossberg Youth Model .410 pump shotgun for his efforts.
With help from organizations and individuals such as the Kiwanis Club, Etowah Valley Sporting Clays, Wallace Crowder, DNR, Jason Roberson and fundraising events like the Hunting Heritage Super Fundraising banquet, the Amicalola Longbeards are able to provide vital funds for wild turkey conservation and important programs that introduce the outdoors to women, children and the disabled.
A variety of youth activities will be available Friday night at the park for children, including interactive laser shooting video games.
A spring fishing rodeo is also planned.
The heritage banquet festivities begin at 6 p.m. with dinner following at 7:30 p.m.
All ticket holders will be eligible to win prizes exclusive to National Wild Turkey Federation events.
The highest bid could allow someone to go home with sporting art, hunting guns, knives, calls, outdoor equipment and more.
Tickets for the Amicalola Longbeards Chapter Annual Hunting Heritage Super Fundraising banquet are $55 each for adults, and $15 each for youth under 16.
Membership will help the NWTF support wildlife management on public, private and corporate lands and preserve hunting as a traditional North American sport.
For more information, call Mulkey at (770) 561-2107.