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‘Super Hunt’ Offers Super Experience For Texas Youth
STONEWALL, Texas — Nearly 50 young people from across Texas will take part Jan. 19-21 in what organizers are calling the state’s largest youth deer hunt, thanks to ranchers who have donated free access to their properties and several groups who want to give today’s urban kids more first-hand experience with nature and the outdoors.
The Texas Youth Hunting program in partnership with Austin Woods and Waters and the Cave Creek Wildlife Management Association will sponsor the 3rd annual Cave Creek Super Hunt near Stonewall, in Gillespie County.
The hunt, taking place on 12 participating ranches, is described as the largest youth hunt in the state. Nearly 50 youth participated last year. In just one weekend, 45 whitetail does, 20 whitetail spike bucks, 1 axis doe and 3 black buck does were harvested.
P.J. Bonner, age 12, said he never saw so many deer in one place at one time.
“The deer just started stacking in,” he said. Bonner and his dad, Pace, volunteered at last year’s hunt. This year they plan to bring home a deer of their own.
“It’s going to be awesome,” said the younger Bonner. “It’s father-son time.”
Providing youth and their accompanying adults with a safe, affordable hunting experience is part of what the Super Hunt is about, according to Doug DuBois, Texas Youth Hunting Program (TYHP) Heart of Texas area coordinator.
“Our goal is to have parents and youth in the blinds, having that quiet time together and watching nature,” Dubois said.
The other important goal of the Super Hunt is to promote wildlife management.
“We try to manage our deer herd like we would manage livestock,” said Ronnie Ottmers, Cave Creek WMA’s youth hunt program chairman. Ottmers said the youth Super Hunt is an important contribution in maintaining a healthy population of deer on the Cave Creek ranches. In addition to wildlife management, Ottmers hopes the Super Hunt builds positive relationships between landowners and young hunters.
“We’re trying to inspire good hunting ethics in interested youth,” he said.
During the Super Hunt, Austin Woods and Waters supplies certified Huntmasters who organize and lead the hunts for youth and their accompanying adults on each participating ranch.
Between the hunting periods, youth are engaged in educational activities such as sausage making demonstrations, deer aging lessons and taxidermy introduction. “We hope the kids take away a positive experience,” said DuBois. ” The youth harvest deer, eat great food, meet lots of other people from all over the state and learn more about the fantastic sport of hunting.”
The Texas Youth Hunting Program hopes to get more participants interested in this event and other youth hunts.
“We need more youth, especially those who have not hunted or have not harvested an animal,” said DuBois.
The Texas Youth Hunting Program is run by the Texas Wildlife Association in partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The TYHP Mission is to offer youth hunts that are safe, educational and affordable. TYHP sponsors introductory, instructive youth hunts for deer, turkey, exotics, small game and many other species. Mentors, lodging and meals are often provided.
For more information on this or other youth hunts, visit the Texas Youth Hunting Program Web page or contact TYHP Heart of Texas Area Coordinator Doug DuBois at (512) 826-2472.
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