The 2013 Neshoba County Wildlife Jamboree was a huge success as usual. 

It is one of the largest educational events conducted in Neshoba County with approximately 3,000 in attendance. 

Several educational activities are a part of the Wildlife Jamboree each year including educational speakers, educational Booths, wildlife tasting buffet, gun raffles, Big Buck contest, youth archery contest along with other activities and events. 

The education row, placed in the middle of the coliseum floor, is the effort by the Jamboree planning committee to enhance the educational experience of attendees.

The roots of the Jamboree are to be an educational venue.

The planning committee designated the most visible area for this purpose.

This year the education row was comprised of: the Mississippi State University Extension Service educated participants about soil quality for food plots; Choctaw Fresh Produce presented on frontiersman hunting and survival tools; Mississippi Museum of Natural Science had live animals along with skulls and pelts; Mississippi State University's Coordinator for Extension and Outreach, Center for Resolving Human-Wildlife Conflicts answered general wildlife questions' the Choctaw Wildlife and Parks introduced the non-Indian population to Choctaw cultural ways of hunting, and lastly the Mississippi Corp. of Engineers passed out water safety information to all.

The education row not only is host to a wealth of information to all willing to participate, but it also awarded several nice prizes to some lucky participants at the end of the night.

The educational venue has proven to be a hit with all who participated, not to mention the lucky winners of the drawings.

It has boasted an average of nearly 400 participants each year thus far and poised to get bigger in the future.

This is good news to the Neshoba County Extension Service and the planning committee, because the Neshoba County Wildlife Jamboree's roots have grown to branch yet another educational opportunity for Neshoba County and Mississippi.

In the wildlife tasting buffet, 20 participants brought wild game dishes featuring a variety of venison, including sausages, slim jims, sausage balls and salsa.

There was also deer sausage and biscuits, deer chili, deer rotel dip, Mexican venison skillet, deer pineapple meat balls, Deer nachos, deer and turnip green frittata and wild hog sausage and apple oat cookies. 

Several hundred people sampled the dishes. Recipes submitted in this year's Jamboree will be compiled and added to the 2014 Wildlife Jamboree Recipe book.

There was also three raffles this year. Debbie Belk won the Remington 870 Express Shotgun. Grant Myers won the H & R 243 Youth Handi Rifle and Randall Breedlove won the CVA Elite Stalker 35 Wheeling Muzzleloader.

Funds raised from these raffles were used to sponsor the Wildlife Jamboree. 

Organizers thanked everyone who purchased raffle tickets at this year's Jamboree. 

The winners of the 2013 Big Buck Contest were Cody Killen- winner of Primitive Weapon Division - rree shoulder mount from Ferrell & Company and Walker Outdoors in Union.

Connor Smith, winner of youth division, free shoulder mount from David & Brandon Heflin Taxidermy.

Hugh Barrier, winner of Gun Division, free shoulder mount from Steve Johnson Taxidermy.

Keep these contests in mind for next year and encourage individuals that you might know that have killed a big buck to enter it in next year's contest, organizers said.

There were 21 youth who competed in the Wildlife Jamboree Youth Archery and Air Rifle competition held just prior to the Wildlife Jamboree just outside of the coliseum.

Youth competed in not only air rifle but also recurve and compound divisions of archery.

Youth competed in ages 7-10, 11-14 and 15-18 categories.

First place winners were recognized that night at the Wildlife Jamboree.

Daniel Ferguson, first in age 11-14 recurve archery; Eli Lewis, first in both age 7-10 compound archery and age 7-10 air rifle; and Christina Ladd, first in age 15-18 air rifle.

Jordan Parker, first in age 15-18 recurve archery; Lane Miles, first in age 15-18 compound archery; Hunter Lewis, first in age 11-14 air rifle; and Brody Pinter, first in age 11-14 compound.

There were approximately 29 vendors that provided the door prizes.

There were also about 20 pots of stew and chili along with drinks served.

We would like to thank all of the cooks who make this possible, organizers said.

Article was written by members of the Wildlife Jamboree Planning Committee. Pictures by Russell Singleton.