If you are or know a teenager who would like to try hunting mule deer at one of America's most amazing ranches, does the Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) ever have good news for you! MDF is sponsoring the annual Sharing the Tradition junior hunts, in which five lucky junior hunters aged 12 to 17 will experience a free, guided hunt for antlerless muleys on Tejon Ranch, the largest privately held ranch in California at 270,000 acres. The drawing for winners is random, and free to enter. All five junior deer hunters will hunt at the same time on the weekend of December 7-8...and given the size of Tejon Ranch, 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.
Sharing the Tradition hunts are all about letting beginners get a taste of success. Since MDF began sponsoring these hunts 15 years ago, 237 junior hunters have taken part...with an astonishing 99% success rate.
Sharing the Tradition is also about introducing hunters to the majesty of the wilderness, while making the entire experience as simple and fun as possible. 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. 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. 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.
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 Rocky Mountain elk, deer, wild pigs, pronghorn antelope, bear, mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, turkeys, squirrels, golden eagles, bald eagles, condors and quail.
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.
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. For more information or questions, email Jerry Springer, MDF Sharing the Tradition hunt program director at [email protected].
We're wishing all you NRA Family Junior readers the best of luck!