The Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) in cooperation with Tejon Ranch, the largest privately held ranch in California at 270,000 acres, is again sponsoring the annual Sharing the Tradition junior hunts. This is an opportunity for junior hunters to enter a free, random drawing in which five lucky junior hunters will be drawn for a free, guided antlerless deer hunt.
To date 237 junior hunters have taken part in these hunts over the past 15 years. The success rate for juniors hunting deer has been 99%.
Junior hunters, along with their parent or mentor, stay overnight at a secluded lodge on the ranch. It has an awesome view of the mountains and a vista all the way to the San Joaquin Valley.
All five junior deer hunters will hunt at the same time on the weekend of December 7/8. With 270,000 acres, they won’t see each other while in the field.
Every junior and their parent/mentor will be assigned their very own guide and use the guide’s vehicle for the hunt.
In addition to MDF and the Tejon Ranch, other sponsors of this event include Simmons for optics for each junior hunter, and Girls with Guns items for the young ladies on the hunt.
A shooting range is located next to the lodge so all juniors can demonstrate to their guides their accuracy with the rifle they will be using on the hunt. There is also a first-class skinning rack which can hang up to six animals at a time.
Excitement builds in the evening as the hunters return from their first hunt. They gather around the game rack to await the others’ return and talk about their hunts as the guides assist with skinning animals taken. The conversations and stories of the hunts continue that evening during the meal and later while sitting by the fireplace.
After the first afternoon/evening hunt, all participants return to the lodge for a nice dinner provided and prepared by the ranch staff. Tejon Ranch will also provide a continental breakfast and snacks during their stay.
The deadline to apply for this year’s hunt is October 14, 2019. All applications for this year’s hunt must be submitted via the Internet by going to www.westernhunter.com/2019STThunts.html or visiting the website for WesternHunter.com. All information requested on the application must be completed in order to be included in the drawing. Winners will be notified by telephone within a week after the drawing. Only winners will be notified. Please carefully read the Rules and Requirements section on the application before applying.
For more information or questions, email Jerry Springer, MDF Sharing the Tradition hunt program director at Jerry@WesternHunter.com.
This is more than just a hunt for the junior and their accompanying adult as they will have an opportunity to see the vast variety of wildlife and varied habitats on the ranch. Just some of the animals that juniors have seen on past hunts at Tejon Ranch are the Rocky Mountain elk, deer, wild pigs, pronghorn antelope, bear, mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, turkeys, squirrels, golden eagles, bald eagles, condors, and quail.
Good luck to all the juniors (ages 12-17) who apply this year.