Operation Orphans, Inc. hosted 90 boys from 13 child care facilities Friday and Saturday, January 10 & 11, at Camp Gene Ashby in Mason. The youngsters came from Christ’s Haven, Keller; Kidz Harbor, Liverpool; Bowers Foster Home, Arlington; Castro/Araujo Foster Home, Elmendorf; Still Creek Ranch, Bryan; Texas Baptist Children’s Home, Round Rock; Texas Baptist Children’s Home, Waxahachie; Presbyterian Children’s Home, Waxahachie; Central Texas Children’s Home, Buda; West Texas Boys Ranch, San Angelo; Sweeten Home, Brownwood; Ramirez Foster Home, Converse; and Myers/Rucker Foster Home, Montgomery.
The young hunters had a great time at Camp Gene Ashby, eating delicious food prepared by Operation Orphans directors and socializing and playing various games in the Janie & Milton Jordan Building. Saturday, the eager hunters were paired with guides from all across Texas who volunteer their time to help the kids hunt and enjoy the outdoors.
The boys and their guides hunted on 20 area ranches. Ranches allowing the youngsters to hunt were Bar 7, Mason county; Behrens Ranch, San Saba; CGJ Ranch, San Saba; Coleman Springs, Menard; Craft Alaca, Blanco; H.L. Priour, Kerr; Karl Ransleben, Gillespie; Korn Place, Mason; Kurt Zesch, North, Mason; Kurt Zesch, South, Mason; Lov Kuykendall Ranch, San Saba; Northcutt Ranch, Mason; Priour Ranch, Kerr; Ray Ranch, Sutton; Robison Ranch, Gillespie; Rockhead, Mason; Turkey Valley, Kerr; Wilson Ranch, Gillespie; Woelfel Ranch, Mason; and Ziegler Ranch, Mason. Animals harvested were 51 whitetail does, 6 spikes, 4 management bucks, 5 feral hogs, and 1 turkey.
Individuals who prepared the sack lunches for the hunting parties to enjoy Saturday during the hunt were Sherry Lehmberg, Khersty Newman, Barbara Collard, Joann Wimberly, Christie Lehmberg, and June Durst. Mason Boy Scouts who prepared the early Saturday breakfast were Miguel Castillo, Michael Jefferson, Emanuel Martinez, Sammy Martinez, Charles Martinez, Fernando Torrez, and Levi Hofmann. Baked goods were once again donated by Fredericksburg Bakery and soft drinks for the lunches were provided by Mason Bottling Company.
During the four hunts this season, Operation Orphans, Inc. hosted 200 boys and girls who in turn harvested 173 animals. In the 54 years of the program, 17,885 children have harvested 17502 animals.
Operation Orphans, Inc. will have a fishing day for boys April 12 and a fishing day for girls May 3. Anyone who has a tank or pond and who would like to allow these kids a chance to fish should contact camp supervisors, Jerry or Lyla Crouch, phone 325.347.6745. Operation Orphans can supply the guides, tackle, bait, and food for the activity. Please consider hosting some children who would enjoy a day in the outdoors learning to fish.
Hunt dates for 2014 will be: October 25, hunt for girls, November 15, hunt for boys, December 6, hunt for boys and January 10, 2015, hunt for boys.
Additional information may be found at http://www.operationorphans.org/.
Operation Orphans, Inc. is especially in need of coats and camoflague hunting clothing for children in the ages of 10 to 18. Please check your closets and donate your gently used coats and camo to a worthwhile cause.