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Feature Report: Junior Hunters

Junior hunters find true meaning of hunting

Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Jan 23, 2020

FORT TEJON — Junior hunter Ben Woodall summed up his 2019 Sharing the Tradition junior hunt at Tejon Ranch with the following lines, “But most of all, I found that there is more to hunting than finding an animal. Hunting is about the people. It is about things we have in common. About the stories. About the camaraderie.”



successfuljunior1cSUCCESSFUL JUNIOR HUNTERS during the Sharing the Tradition deer hunt at Tejon Ranch included Benjamin P., Montana M. and her father, and Reagan C. and her father.

Ben, along with four other junior hunters, had the opportunity this past December to be hosted by the Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) on Tejon Ranch for a fully-guided antlerless deer hunt. This group of five juniors has now brought the total number of junior hunters who have experienced the Sharing the Tradition special hunt during the past 16 years to 242. The juniors this year were made up of three young men and two young ladies who were selected in a free, random drawing. They ranged in age from 14 to 17 and none of them had ever before harvested a deer.

Ranch and safety orientation, sighting their rifles, animal skinning, meals and sleeping accommodations all took place at a lodge high in the mountains overlooking the San Joaquin Valley. The hunt was carried out within the ranch’s 270,000 acres.

When the hunt was completed, all the juniors and their fathers traveled home with their coolers full of venison from each of the juniors’ first deer and with lots of hunting memories, too. Like all the juniors, Ben Woodall’s guide taught him about proper stalking and tracking, waiting for a good shot opportunity and not rushing it, and field dressing and skinning his deer.

Adding to the experience, each junior received items from the following sponsors: Simmons, Barnes Bullets, Buck Knives, and the Mule Deer Foundation. The young ladies also were given items from Girls with Guns.

For junior hunters who are interested in applying for the 2020 Sharing the Tradition junior hunt, email the MDF Hunt Coordinator, Jerry Springer at so you can be notified when applications are available.

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