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Aaron Kecham, 13, from Klamath Falls, Ore., gets set for sporting clays to fly at the Pheasants Forever Turkey Shoot. He shot 74 clays out of 100 with his Browning Silver Hunter 12-gauge, outshooting most of the adults. He said he's been shooting since he could walk.
A pheasant struts along an irrigation canal on the Lower Klamath wildlife refuge.
National Pheasants Forever: www.pheasantsforever.org
Video of the Tulelake turkey shoot.

Birds are the targets; people are the goal
Pheasants Forever chapter aims to give everyone a shot
Video of the Tulelake turkey shoot.
by Jacqui Krizo for the Capital Press 11/23/2007

TULELAKE, Calif. - Michael Sylvester can't walk, but he can hunt. The Tulelake Chapter of Pheasants Forever sponsored a pheasant hunt for the 16-year-old at Diamond W Hunt Club east of Tulelake. They set out some birds, got him on a four-wheeler and took him hunting.

Sylvester, who was born with spina bifida, had everything good to say about the Tulelake group: "The fact that they were so generous to donate their time and efforts to me so I could go out and feel like I don't have to worry about being in a wheelchair, I could go out and hunt like a regular person. It means a lot to me what they did."

And as Pheasants Forever gave to him two years ago, Sylvester gives hope to hundreds of young people through his support of Children's Miracle Network. As Oregon's CMN ambassador, he has traveled throughout the United States speaking and helping others who are disabled.

Pheasants Forever in Tulelake isn't just about birds and habitat; it's about people.

They held their annual Turkey Shoot at their sporting clay-shooting range north of Tulelake in mid-November - 88 men, women and children came out for the shoot, lunch, awards and prizes; 20 turkeys, 40 bags of potatoes, ammo, gloves and many more prizes were given away; and the organizers made sure every child won something.

Other special shoots are the Ham Shoot in the spring and the summer Appreciation Shoot, all with clays, lunch and prizes.

President Mike Webb said when the Tulelake chapter formed 14 years ago it had one tower. Now the 10-acre course has 13 stations and 26 remote-control machines.

He said the organization put 42 youth and adults through hunter safety this summer in Tulelake, complete with lunches, at no cost to the participants.

Their lively annual banquet in February is the primary fund-raising event for habitat projects, featuring a dinner with raffles and auctions for guns, art, gifts and clothing. Proceeds provide grain seed for farmers to plant hundreds of acres for wildlife habitat in the Klamath Basin in cooperation with Fish and Wildlife and Cal Ore Wetlands.

Pheasants Forever is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and enhancing pheasant and other wildlife populations in North America through habitat improvement, land management, public awareness and education. Pheasants Forever says it is the only national wildlife conservation organization that leaves all of the fund-raising dollars where they were raised for local habitat projects. It has more than 100,000 members in over 600 local chapters across the United States and Canada.

The Tulelake Chapter has nearly 300 members.

Every Sunday at 10 a.m., Tulelakers Dar Carol, Tony Tate and Terry Alcorn have the course set up, the woodstove burning, the coffee perking and the clays ready. To get there, when you come to a bump in the road on Stateline, west of Westside Grocery, turn north at the quonset hut at the Pheasants Forever sign. Keep driving down the dirt road until you see a bunch of gals and guys with shotguns.

Bring money, guns and ammo.
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