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LOCO group aims to spur interest in the outdoors

They may be ‘LOCO,’ but they’re not crazy.

They are just a group of avid outdoorsmen who want to participate in some friendly competition while getting involved with local disabled youth.

Founded by Ironton Police officer Chad Gue at the beginning of the year, the League of Competitive Outdoorsmen was born out of a desire to get more people involved with hunting, fishing and shooting, as well as teach a younger generation how to enjoy the sport.

“Our intentions originally were just a handful of us to take some kids from the area out hunting and to have a friendly competition amongst buddies,” Gue said. “Now it has grown into a lot larger event and a lot more people being involved.”

Gue and officers Jamie Pruitt and Joe Ross, as well as former Ironton firefighter Larry Pernestti, comprise the board of LOCO, and are already planning their first competition.

Turkey hunting season runs April 21 through May 18 and LOCO is organizing a King of Spring competition in which the team that bags the two largest birds will win.

The competition will last the duration of the spring turkey season but those interested in joining must register.

The registration date will be Feb. 15 at Bullseye Guns and Supply on Park Avenue in Ironton. The registration is one day only from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Teams are two people and at least one team member must be present to register. The cost is $50 per team.

In May, the competition will culminate in an awards picnic and a youth hunt.

“We are going to have hunters from around our area as well as other hunters and guides, they are going to take a few of the children in our area with special needs and disabilities and we are going to take them hunting and see if we can get a bird,” Gue said.

Prior to the youth hunt, there will be a meet and greet so the children can meet their guides. Gue said M&M Inflatables has donated the use of their facility for the picnic.

Gue also said the turkey competition is just the first of many to come.

“If there is an outdoor event, if it’s hunting, fishing, shooting, whatever, I want to make it a competitive event and I want to find a way to get guys involved and get some guys involved with our youth,” he said.

Gue asked that anyone interested in being a sponsor, donating time to help with the youth hunt or interested in joining LOCO visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/southernohiooutdoorsman.