PumpkinHunt Returns with 4th Annual Halloween Website for Pumpkin Hunters

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ROCHESTER, NY - Sept. 22 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- The group of Halloween enthusiasts have again launched their website to account for the amount of jack-o-lanterns carved for the 2005 autumn season. The website is free and open to everyone within the 50 states. The advertising proceeds will benefit the American Red Cross.

Ron Davenport is the leader of the Pumpkin Hunters Association. Formerly of Mount Plymouth, FL, Davenport decided to open the PHA to everyone once he moved to Fairport, NY.

"The PHA," says Davenport, "is a group of people who share the love of carving pumpkins for Halloween."

The PHA is now making a call for new people to join in the hunt.

Davenport, 32, describes the efforts of "pumpkin hunting" as fun and challenging. He and the other hunters venture out during October searching for glowing, grinning jack-o-lanterns. They take a tally of the amount found and compete to see who can find the most; while trying to break the previous year's overall record.

Davenport explains that over the years he's noticed a trend of people avoiding carving real pumpkins and buying plastic ones from the stores instead.

"The PHA will not count plastic pails, only real, carved pumpkins," said Davenport.

Terry Hauss is another key person who has been involved in this exploration since the start. Hauss, a childhood friend of Davenport and fellow PHA member, resides in Mount Dora, Florida.

Hauss, 31, states, "I admit the idea of going around counting pumpkins seems a little crazy, but it is really quite addictive. Florida is where Ron and I grew up and it has always been tough to find real jack-o-lanterns down here."

"It [pumpkin hunting] is not as easy as it sounds." Davenport agreed. "Some blocks have many, others have none. It's hit or miss because not everyone carves pumpkins for Halloween."

The PHA website is at Potential hunters are encouraged to join and indicate how many pumpkins they find in their neighborhood. Visitors can pick the areas that they intend to search for jack-o-lanterns in. Once they join, hunters can enter the amount they find on the website so that an Official Count can be tallied. The hunter's tally is also kept on a live score board that updates throughout the month.

The site also features a free video game based on Pumpkin Hunting. The video game is easy and fun for all ages to play. Davenport says, "I play the game with my 5 year-old son and he loves it."

He also describes a more notable feature with the inclusion of the story behind the game's main antagonist, Capt. Jackson Warsaw. "Pages from the pirate's log book are within the game," Davenport says, "As players play, they will find the hidden pages and be able to read parts of the story. Winning the game earns the entire story."

The PHA website also accepts photos of the jack-o-lanterns that the visitors carve for the "Hallo-fame" public display.

The PHA's goal is to account for one more pumpkin than the previous year. Last year's record stands at 1,772 pumpkins, which was up slightly from 2003's total of 1,687. The hunting season and website is open thru November 5th.

"I hope we break the record again this year," says Davenport, "we will need the help of all the hunters in the nation in order to make it happen."

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REFERENCES: , , Ron Davenport, Pumpkin Hunters Association, PHA, Rochester, New York, Halloween website, photos of the jack-o-lanterns, pumpkin carving, hallo-fame, news, press release from Pumpkin Hunters Association, Sep 22, 2005, Holidays and Seasons, , , , , PumpkinHunt Returns with 4th Annual Halloween Website for Pumpkin Hunters