Operation Orphans, Inc. held its second hunt of the season November 17th. 34 boys from 7 foster and children’s homes came to Camp Gene Ashby eager to participate in the “Take a Child Hunting” program. Homes participating were Texas Pythian Home, Weatherford; Boys & Girls Country, Hockley; Central Texas Children’s Home, Buda; Methodist Home, Waco; Presbyterian Children’s Home, Waxahachie; Texas Baptist Children’s Home, Waxahachie; and Hughes Foster Home, San Angelo. These young hunters spent the day hunting and enjoying a day in the field with their guide. The hunting groups spent the day on 12 area ranches. Area ranches were Circle M Ranch, Gillespie county; Goad Family Ranch, Mason; High Lonesome, Mason; J & L Crouch Ranch, Mason; Lov Kuykendall, San Saba; Operation Orphans Game Pasture, Mason; Smith Ranches (Tiers & Blue Mountain), Mason; Wilson Ranch, Gillespie; Woelfel Ranch, Mason; Wojtek Ranch, Concho; and YMCA Roberts Ranch, Kerr. The 34 youngsters harvested 28 animals which consisted of 18 does, 2 spikes, 2 management bucks, 3 hogs, and 3 aoudad ewes. During the first hunt held October 27th, 23 girls from 7 child care facilities harvested 16 animals.
The next hunt of the Operation Orphans, Inc. program will take place December 1. At the present time 39 boys are expected to participate. The final hunt of the season will take place January 12, 2013. Since the program’s beginning in 1960, 17,590 boys and girls have taken part and harvested 17,228 animals. Landowners use this program as a means to help educate children of the rural way of life and to help manage deer herds by harvesting excess does or bucks or undesireable animals such as feral hogs. The animals harvested are used at the children’s facilities or are used in various outreach programs. For many of these children, this outdoor experience is a once in a lifetime opportunity. The memories they gain from spending the day in the field with a knowledgeable and caring guide plus the wholesome outdoor experience will be lifelong.
Members of the Mason Boy Scouts prepared the early Saturday morning breakfast. Members and sponsers participating were Sammy Martinez, Sammy Martinez Jr., Emanuel Martinez, John Brandenberger, Colton Brandenberger, and Rebecca Schuessler. Individuals preparing the sack lunches for the groups to enjoy on Saturday were Chama Martin, Sierra Martin, Aspen Martin, Dakota Martin, Rae Ann Martin, and Operation Orphans director Sherry Lehmberg. The Fredericksburg Bakery once again donated baked goods and Mason Bottling Company provided soft drinks for the lunches.
Information about Operation Orphans, Inc. and the hunting and fishing programs may be obtained at the web site: operationorphans.org or by contacting Camp Supervisors, Jerry or Lyla Crouch, 35.347.6745.