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(Courtesy Photo)

Eager youths gathered recently at the W. S. Huey Wildlife Management Area to participate in an annual youth pheasant draw hunt offered by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.

With the help of donations from the Roswell Safari Club International Chapter and the Southeastern New Mexico Sportsman Group, 150 rooster pheasants were purchased and released on the area to give 34 youths from around the state a chance at bagging a pheasant.

Along with the hunt, every youth hunter was given prizes donated by Wal-Mart, Tractor Supply Co., and Big Chief Guns and Pawn. A few lucky individuals walked away with .22 Henry lever-action rifles, Tri Star youth 20-gauge shotguns, and a Yeti cooler.

“These events really get the kids excited and are great opportunities for youth hunters to get in the field, have a good chance of harvesting a bird, and have a little fun out in nature enjoying a nice winter morning,” said Cody Johnston, Southeast Area public information officer for NMDGF. “The success of the event was due to the donations from local groups and businesses, the time and effort from department biologists and conservation officers, and the hard work by the W. S. Huey farm workers who maintain the wildlife management area.”

Those interested in participating in next year’s youth pheasant hunt can complete a draw permit application on the department’s website, www.wildlife.state.nm.us, before the draw deadline in August 2018, or call 1-888-248-6866 for more information.