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Youth Safari Day a great event for youngsters
Tens of thousands of young boys and girls have attended Youth Safari Day over the past 20 years. Held again at Mike Raahauge’s Shooting Complex in Corona, this year’s event was the best ever for kids to experience the great outdoors, as there were more activities to enjoy with expert instruction given by members of Safari Club International, Turner’s Outdoorsman and the many volunteers who showed up to help with this venue.

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EXPERT SHOTGUN INSTRUCTIONS — Turner’s Outdoorsman’s staff was on hand at the very busy shotgun range. Here G. Johnson helps 5 yr. old Oheln Hoerlein shoulder a 20 ga. shotgun. ALL PHOTOS BY JIM NIEMIEC


“This was a great outing for the kids with lots of outdoor activities to participate in. We added a few more events, which made lines a little shorter allowing all ages of boys and girls to enjoy a truly outdoor experience. We have a great committee, great support from the local chapters of Safari Club International, Turner’s Outdoorsman staffs, the shotgun shooting event staff and the cowboys showed up in super fashion. By adding the zip-line to this year’s event there was something for every kid to remember,” said Dennis Anderson, Chairman of Youth Safari Day.


Western Outdoor News has supported Youth Safari Day since the beginning and being part of this great venue means something special to those of us on staff. WON’s gun editor Steve Comus came over from Tucson to cover the event for SCI and J. Alain Smith of SCI’s Rugged Expeditions toured the entire event with Anderson.


There was a mix of youth at this year’s event with many 5- and 6-year old kids experiencing the things to do outdoors along with teenagers, many of whom have attended more than one Youth Safari Day. All the kids looked forward to spending time on a shooting bench, petting young gun dog pubs and splashing around Orange County Water District ponds in kayaks.


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A KID ON THE AIRSOFT PISTOL RANGE — Julia Fiymara attended her second YSD with dad Joe Fiymara of Temecula.


One thing of note at this year’s venue was the number of shooting booths and the lines of kids waiting to shoot BB guns, .22 rifles, shotguns, pistols, archery and airsoft firearms. Parents, grandparents and adult supervisors were pleased with the professionalism of those expert volunteers on the firing line that paid special attention to teaching kids about proper gun handling and safety before allowing them to load the firearm. Rick Duffy, President of the Orange County Chapter of SCI, summed up this year’s YSD with, “I have been attending this event for nearly a decade and really get a good feeling seeing all this kids (and their parents) enjoy a great outdoor experience. Our chapter members contribute a lot of time in support of YSD and watching it grow bigger each year.”


While hot weather was expected; a mix of cool monsoonal weather, a slight breeze and plenty of green grass and new shade trees (thanks to new beautiful landscaping) made for a pleasant morning of outdoor activities. Patrick Raahauge and his staff did an outstanding job of making the grounds easily accessible for kids and parents pushing strollers or pulling wagons.


Next year, Youth Safari Day will be held on July 20. For additional information or offers of assisting or donating to this great kids’ event, log on to their website at youthsafariday.com. 


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KIDS ENJOYED THE archery range.


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KAYAKING WAS A very popular activity.


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GUN DOG AT WORK — Dog trainer Paul Cacciatori of Starlight Kennel, carefully watches as this young girl retrieves a dummy from a working dog.


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MAKING A QUAIL CALL — Outdoor journalist Jim Matthews helps this young boy make a quail call.


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