Pheasants Forever and Ikes teach kids outdoor safety

By Thomas Nelson,

Going outside and getting away from electronics is important, and some Floyd County kids got a chance to learn that lesson Saturday.

Floyd County youth were taught outdoors tips at Tosanak Recreation Area Saturday, June 10.

The Event was put on by the Floyd County Pheasant Forever, and Isaak Walton League of America.

“We’re trying to get the out in the country expose them to different activities outdoors,” said Pheasants Forever member Nick Johansen. “Our whole goal is just to get kids outside and see what else is out there so they’re not looking at their smart phone and sitting inside all day.”

The kids had five different stations, to learn about, trapping, water safety, archery, BB gun safey and building blue bird houses.

“Its a unique opportunity to be out in the woods in a natural area,” Johansen said.

There were 34 total kids at the event that were split into five groups.

The event had experts in each field teaching the events, Cody Schmitt and Brandon Gates, have been trapping for about 20 years.

They went over trapping with the children and how traps work. They also showed the kids what kind of pelts someone can get from trapping, with raccoon and cougar pelts for the kids to look at.

Trappers and by extension trapping originally settled Iowa and much of the American Midwest.

“If they’re (the kids) are out hiking with their pets they happen to come across somebody else’s trapping equipment its a good way to know, if their pet gets ensnared, how to safely  get them out of there,” Johansen said.

Several of the kids that attended the event had been there before including Keaton, who had been to two of the Fun Days prior.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources Water Patrol Officer, Allison Scott taught the kids water safety.

Using a boat, fishing poles and flotation devices she went over ways for the kids to stay safe while on the water, with out actually going in the water.

Paul Gogerty taught the BB gun safety using a large inflatable from the National Wild Turkey Federation.

The BB gun safety also worked as stand-in for regular gun safety.

Paul Van Ausdall taught the kids archery using shelter over 100 yards away from where most of the other events were taking place.

Ausdall instructed and observed the kids to make sure they didn’t dry fire their bows, and handled their bows correctly.

“Its all about preparedness and going at it the right way,” Johansen said.