Oct 11, 2017
SCI Mojave Youth Hunt
Oct 6-7-8, 2017
Location: Mojave National Preserve, Group Camping Area
AMAZING – What a great weekend for the junior hunters & their families. We had a total of 59 junior hunters (which included 13 girls) , this number surpasses last year by 25%. The total attendance of 235 included junior hunters, their families, guides & volunteers.
Several volunteers sho wed up on Thursday to make sure the camping area was ready for the weekend. I showed up Friday around 9:30 am, & found ten volunteers ready & waiting. These guys & gals went to work unloading the trailer & by 1pm the EZ-ups, tables, cook stoves, coffee bar, sign in booth, ticket booth & banners were in place & open for business. What a terrific crew of volunteers – the backbone of this event! Around 2pm Bobby Huff & Rob Blair showed up with the trailered BBQ, & these guys wasted no time parking the big rig, making it ready to start cooking 120lbs of pulled pork. The MNP (Neal Darby & Victoria) were busy setting up their booth as well as BLM (Dave Roan, Paul and Mona Daniels). The Institute for Wildlife Studies, led by Russell Kuhlman was also preparing their educational booth for the arrivals. Everything was set & ready in anticipation of arrival of the junior hunters & their families.
Around 4pm the hunters & their families starting showing up. Toni, along with Stacey, Kathleen & Christine handled the hunter, guide & volunteer registration, handing out SCI hunting vests, CDA hats & T-shirts. The registration stayed open until 8pm. At the close of the evening the stage was set for 6am the next morning. Those that arrived after 8pm registered at 6am Sat morning. The cooks had the pancakes ready along with sausage patties/links, fruit & juice. Judy & Danny had the coffee bar (cowboy or perked) & hot chocolate open at 5am for the early birds.
After we filled up with pancakes & sausage, Mike Norris with the CA F&W gave a safety talk & Toni assigned guides to the hunters. Only one more duty needed to be done before heading to the hills – group picture of all the hunters. Soon a trail of dust was flying as the hunters, guides and dogs headed out in search of quail. The excitement & anticipation was evident by the smiles on the hunters faces. Mandatory check in time was 4:30 with hunters/guides arriving back into camp with their harvest. As is the norm for even seasoned hunters, some bagged their limit while others were bagless. A cleaning station was set up where Neal Darby of MNP showed the hunters how to clean/dress their birds with the birds then BBQ’d for a tasty treat.
A complete dinner (pulled pork sandwiches, coleslaw, potato salad, macaroni salad, pasta salad, baked beans and chips was served. To top it off, an array of pies were there for the choosing. After dinner, kudos/acknowledgements were shared & then the raffles began. Thanks to SCI Orange County, SCI Los Angeles, Turners Outdoorsman, Randy Weber & Grice, nine firearms were raffled off along with a custom Bowie Knife handcrafted by Jim Crawford. The general raffle hosted an array of items worth over $2500.00 with donations by CDA, Alpen Optics, NRA, Turners, Bass Pro, Jim’s Guns of Barstow, Rte 66 Guns, Quail Forever Riverside, CA Waterfowl Association, Fieldline Outfitters & Buck Slater.
Each junior hunter received a gorgeous hunting vest from SCI-OC, an orange T-shirt & hat from CDA, shooting glasses, flashlight from Alpen Optics & a bag of goodies from SCI Safari Day. The girls received a special clothing gift from NRA as well as a gift from Christine. To top it off, each hunter received a free ticket to the junior hunter drawing, which entitled the winner to a shotgun donated by Randy Weber. In addition, the junior hunters had a chance to win three gift cards and eight filled game bags donated by CA Waterfowl Assoc. Congrats to Gunnar Klenske who won a Remington 870 Express shotgun! These prizes along with camping, meals & guide service were provided at no cost to the hunters or their families. I don’t know of any other junior hunt that offers such a program at absolutely no cost to young hunters/families, introducing them to quail hunting while enjoying the great outdoors. There were no cell phones, tablets, computers, just true family time at its best & this is why the Volunteers/Guides do this year after year.
Sunday morning came with a continental breakfast of rolls, juice, coffee & hot chocolate. The hunters & their families then had the opportunity to go out in search of quail with their parents, applying everything they learned from Saturdays’ hunt. One family of two hunters who went bagless on Saturday, sent us a picture of the birds they harvested on Sunday with their Dad. The picture was of Andrew and Marco sitting at their kitchen table eating their quail with triumphant smiles.
As this hunt comes to a close, I cannot express enough appreciation for all of you for supporting this event. The future of hunting lies in the hands of these young hunters and thanks to YOU, they continue to have that opportunity of hunting on public lands. Kudos to all for standing during the Pledge of Allegiance and paying homage to our great country. We look forward to 2018, making the event bigger and better.
Here are a few of the comments already received from the hunters:
I can’t thank you enough for all that you do for our next generation of hunters. Grace and I had a spectacular time. Here’s a shot of Grace and her new puppy with her first limit of gamble quail. Jeremy and Grace Corselli
Just a note to say thank you for a wonderful Quail hunt! Jason had a great time chasing those little buggers around! He shot two and one cottontail rabbit. Both firsts for him! Gods country for sure! Everyone is to be commended for all your time and efforts! Thanks again, Ken and Jason Sakuda
Just wanted to thank you for a great weekend, also to all the volunteers what a great event. Thank You Russ and Jace Sulzmann
Once again thank you for such a memorable weekend with my daughter and you all! We can not wait for next year! Thank you, Mike and Marika Curtis 10/10/2017
The boys and I made it home safe. And just Incase someone is keeping count, the boys got 3 Quails this morning. They were so excited, I’m cooking them, as I write you this email. Marco got the first one and Andrew got the 2 other ones. Little Marco was so exited. Thank you so much, and please thank Cliff and the rest of the crew. Sincerely, Marco Martinez
Sincere gratitude and appreciation to all. If you would like some pic’s please email me.
Cliff & Toni McDonald