Forty-nine young people from across Texas had an outstanding experience this past weekend in what organizers called the Texas’ largest youth deer hunt. Twelve ranches opened their gates for free to the 3rd annual Cave Creek Super Hunt near Stonewall in Gillespie County, sponsored by the Texas Youth Hunting Program (TYHP) in partnership with Austin Woods and Waters and the Cave Creek Wildlife Management Association. Cold, cloudy drizzle on Saturday did not dampen the spirits of the young participants, who harvested dozens of deer. Crisp, sunny conditions Sunday were more welcoming. Several Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) employees helped make the weekend a success.
A key goal of the Super Hunt is to promote wildlife management. Cave Creek WMA’s youth hunt program chairman Ronnie Ottmers said the youth hunt is important to help maintain a healthy deer population, and he hopes it will build positive relationships between landowners and young hunters. Providing a safe, affordable hunting experience is also a major focus, according to Doug DuBois of TYHP, who organized the hunt. “Our goal is to have parents and youth in the blinds, having that quiet time together and watching nature,” Dubois said. The Texas Youth Hunting Program is run by the Texas Wildlife Association (TWA) in partnership with TPWD.
It is important to get youth involved in hunting and other outdoor activties. With the majority of young Americans now growing up in urban and suburban environements, unless kids are introduced to hunting at an early age, it can be diffcult for them to gain interest or comprehend the sport and management ascpects of hunting. Even is a “big” hunting state such as Texas, only about 7% of the total population hunts. This means the future of hunting lies in the future of America. So, wherever you are outdoors, take a kid with you and show them what it’s all about. Because if you don’t, who will? Have fun and be safe!