Conducted at the Royal Flush Hunting Preserve near Rockville, this year's event was billed as the inaugural George Seketa Memorial Hunt.
Seketa, a longtime Madison Township resident, was widely known for his association with Quail Unlimited. He served as president of both the state and local chapters of the organizations and was a member of the National Board of Trustees of Quail Unlimited.
He was also heralded for his work with conservation organizations throughout the state and his assistance in establishing the local chapters of Ducks Unlimited and the National Wild Turkey Federation.
Seketa served as chief of properties in the Division of Fish and Wildlife for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. He was employed by the DNR for 33 years, moving to Indiana in 1963 to manage Glendale Fish and Wildlife Area, including Dogwood Lake, near Washington. He and his wife Dee moved to Greencastle in 1971. He died Feb. 27, 2008.
The Jan. 17 youth hunt divided the young shooters into two groups. While one contingent hunted with guides and dogs, the other group shot clay targets for practice.
For the day, the overall take was approximately four quail and two chucker partridges per shooter, Quail Unlimited Chairman Bob Jones said.
"We didn't leave a lot of birds in the field," Jones said. "Our young shooters experienced some great success, and in several cases it was the first time they have ever hunted over hunting dogs.
Participating in the 2009 event were shooters Bradley Royer, Shea Arnold, Elizabeth Comer, Nathan Secrest, Hallie Taylor, Blake Cross, Declan Taylor, Cody Long, Ryan Chestnut, Derek Chestnut, Kolt Nelson, Ethan Stephenson, Kody Marsee, Zach Marsee, Adam Crouch, Steve Mitchel, Nate Wollums, Seth Arnold, Jessica Spence, Justin Balenti, Colin Potter and Dylan Phillips.
Jones praised John O'Hair for again organizing the event and securing expert local guides for the hunt. Joining O'Hair as guides were Brian and Phil Humphreys, Greg Mitchel, John Marsee, Dennis Conklin and Bob Grimes.
"He also arranged for some of the finest bird dogs around," Jones added.
The hunt, co-sponsored by Dixie Chopper, was free of charge for the youngsters, except for the cost of a youth hunting license. The Putnam County Fraternal Order of Police furnished ammunition and hunter orange vests, while Quail Unlimited and 4-H shooting sports supplied shotguns for those who needed one.
"This really helps kick off our new year, leading up to our annual banquet fundraiser," QU spokesman Jones said.
The 21st annual banquet for the West Central Indiana chapter of Quail Unlimited is set for Feb. 21 at the Dixie Chopper Business Center at the Putnam County Airport in Greencastle.
Banquet tickets can be reserved by calling Lynn Wilson at (765) 246-6306. Tickets are $35 per person. Tickets for children age 15 and younger are half-price.