The "Take a Child Hunting" program enjoyed another successful weekend of introducing youngsters to the outdoors. Seven children's homes brought boys, aged 11 to 17, to Camp Gene Ashby eager to learn the art of hunting and to enjoy being around caring individuals dedicated to making a positive difference in young lives. Homes participating were Medina Children's Home, Medina; Smith Home, Mullin; Still Creek boys Ranch, Bryan; Hope for Tomorrow, Early; Bates Group Home, Richland Springs; Sweeten Home, Brownwood; and Methodist Home, Waco. Operation Orphans, Inc. provides everything the kids will need, such as food, clothing, hunting guides, sleeping quarters, recreational opportunities, etc. Area ranches which allowed the youngsters to spend the day Saturday hunting were 3 BK Ranch, Blanco county; Bar 7 Ranch, Gillespie; Broken S, Mason; Cripple Creek, Bandera; Farmer Ranch, Mason; Indian Springs Ranch, Kerr; JX Ranch, Mason; and Karl Ransleben, Gillespie. Additional ranches participating were Kurt Zesch Ranch, Mason; Longhorn Ranch, Kerr; Spinks Ranch, San Saba; Northcutt Ranch, Mason; Operation Orphans, Inc. Game Pasture, Mason; Patrick Loftin, Mason; and Shaw/Cox, Mason.
The 57 boys enjoyed a great day hunting harvesting 79 animals. Animals harvested were 47 whitetail does, 18 spikes, 8 management bucks, two feral hogs, two axis does, one turkey, and one sika. The meat is used by the child facilities in their homes or their outreach programs. The ranches use this program as a means to harvest excess game which helps with buck/doe ratios.
The final hunt of 2008 "Take a Child Hunting" program will take place December 13th. During the four hunts already held this year, 199 boys and girls have harvested 216 animals. During the 49 years of the Operation Orphans, Inc. program, 16,864 children have participated with a total game harvest of 16, 592 animals. Date for the 50th season of the "Take a Child Hunting" program will be set in February 2009,. Operation Orphans, Inc. will also set the dates for their "Take a Child Fishing" program in February.
Operation Orphans, Inc. director Mike Jackson, along with others, prepared a fabulous barbecue supper Friday evening. Fredericksburg Bakery and Mason Bottling Company once again donated baked goods and soft drinks.
Chama Martin, Sierra Martin, Aspen Martin, Dakota Martin and Operation Orphans director Sherry Lehmberg prepared sack lunches for the hunters and their guides to enjoy Saturday during their hunt.
Contact Jerry or Lyla Crouch, Camp Supervisors, for additional information, 325-347-6754, or on the web: www.operationorphans.org.