Adorable bear hunting has room for more

Published 10:26 pm Monday, April 23, 2018

About 45 children have signed up to go fishing, shoot arrows and hunt for wild teddy bears this Saturday, and there’s still room for more kids to join the fun.

The Suffolk-Nansemond Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America will hold its fourth annual Teddy Bear Hunt from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday at the chapter’s property behind King’s Fork Middle School on Kings Fork Road.

The gates will open at 10:30 a.m., with the Teddy Bear Hunt starting around 11 a.m. The entry fee is $5, and children must be between the ages of 3 and 10.

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Each child will receive a “teddy bear hunting license,” then hop on a truck for a hayride to the 40-acre park that features a bass pond of about three acres.

Parsons Company donated 50 teddy bears that will be wrapped in plastic for protection and placed within reach on the paths, and each child will hunt one to take home. Hamburgers, hotdogs and chips will be offered for lunch.

About 20 volunteers will help the children find their bears, test their fishing and archery skills or just explore the park with them. Media Chairman Tim Doxey said in a phone interview that the fishing is popular with adults as well.

“There have been a couple of times that I’ve had to tell the dads to give the fishing pole back to the kids,” Doxey said with a laugh.

The chapter participates in many events throughout the year, including river cleanups and adopt-a-road cleanups, and gives scholarships to college students pursuing studies pertaining to conservation and the environment.

Doxey said this event draws new members, and that parents often say it’s the most fun they’ve had with their kids outside of the house in a long time.

“Kids don’t get the opportunity these days to just go out into nature, but once you get on the hayride and go outside of the school and the house, you really feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere,” he said.

Register by email at fishinorhuntin@outlook.com or call 319-5878.