Like clockwork, Teche Area boys and girls, and young men and women, in two organizations practice for months before taking their skills and knowledge to state competition in a bid to, hopefully, qualify for national competition.
The Acadiana Youth Hunter Education Club and the Jeanerette Junior Hunter Education Club members did just that again in June and six punched a ticket to the Western Region NRA Youth Hunter Education Challenge held for the first time July 25-27 in Bentonville, Arkansas. (See related story on this page.) Five boys were from AYHEC while one qualifier was from JJHEC.
They and their fellow club members represent the future of the outdoors, including hunting with a rifle, shotgun, muzzeloader or bow and arrow. The AYHEC and JJHEC members have the opportunity to learn hunting safety, orienteering, wildlife identification and compass, plus sportsmanship and hunter ethics.
One of AYHEC’S coaches who traveled with the qualifiers to Bentonville as members of the Louisiana Bayou Bandits knows all about AYHEC and JJHEC. Richard Jumonville of New Iberia was in JJHEC as a boy and teen and now his son and daughter are active in AYHEC.
He has watched Cameron Jumonville, his son, develop as an outdoorsman and person since age 10. Now 17 and a Class of 2019 graduate of Highland Baptist Christian School, the younger Jumonville has qualified for national event three times, including the recent trip to Arkansas, which, he was pleased to say, sure beat the long, long drive to either Raton, New Mexico, or Mansfield, Pennsylvania.
Cameron’s younger sister, Kennedy, has qualified for one national.
“He’s got one more year to compete. Actually, he’ll be competing when he’s in college next year,” the elder Jumonville said about the teen who competed in the Senior Division just before classes get underway at South Louisiana Community College.
“His favorite is archery. It’s something he can practice all the time. He shot 250 out of 300” at Bentonville, he said about his son.
Jumonville also announced the date of the club’s Friends of NRA Banquet and Live Auction, which is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Aug. 16 at Cypress Bayou Casino Hotel in Charenton. The grant money for ammunition the club gets from the NRA hinges on the success of the fundraiser, so he urges the area’s many outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen to contributed to the cause and attend the event, which is billed as a fun event with something for everyone.
Nearly 200 people were at the fundraising event in 2018, he said, noting 17 tables were filled. AYHEC officials are hopeful as many or more people attend that Friday night.
Admission is $50 for adults, $25 for children 12 and under. Sponsor tables (reserved seating for eight) start at $500 and include eight stripes of bucket raffle tickets, one entry (per level *) for a sponsor-only drawing and an exclusive Friends of NRA sponsor gift.
For more information call Sandra Verret, AYHEC president, at 256-2848.
DON SHOOPMANis outdoors editor of The Daily Iberian.