By Susan Bowers and Doug Streed
The Ninth Annual San Diego Junior Pheasant Hunt, sponsored by San Diego Chapter of SCI and SCI Foundation, was held in the fields near Santa Ysabel, California, in March.
In all, 72 excited and happy youth hunters checked in at 7 a.m. to start their adventure in the field. Each youth was given an orange hat emblazoned with the San Diego Junior Pheasant Hunt logo, a name tag with their team designation number and color, and a drawing ticket for their pheasant to be mounted by a local taxidermist. A volunteer outfitter headed each team and each held a colored flag for the kids to identify as their team.
Volunteers for the day included three presidents of related sporting organizations, two San Diego County Fish and Wildlife Commissioners, two college professors, one medical doctor, one California Game Warden, one veterinarian, three San Diego Chapter Board members, five California Hunter Safety Instructors, 12 dog handlers, and 45 other equally important volunteers.
After a safety briefing, a solemn moment to honor our military wounded and fallen warriors, and the pledge of allegiance, the teams moved to one of eight stations.
The stations included an archery field, .22 rifle range, shotgun trap range, dog retrieving exhibition area by Raney Ranch Retrievers, Department of Agriculture Federal Trappers, a seminar about turkeys and then to the fields for the actual hunt for two pheasants each and finally to the pheasant cleaning station with their birds.
When the last team finished cleaning their birds, lunch was served. Janice Mendenhall and her family from My Country Club were busy serving delicious hamburgers and hotdogs with chocolate chip cookies for dessert. While the kids were eating, tickets were drawn for a bow donated by Jim Connors, owner of Willow Creek Archery, and a 5-day hunt in South Africa with Inyathi Safaris donated by Andy Goudeau.
San Diego Junior Pheasant Hunt thanks the San Diego Chapter of Safari Club International and Safari Club International Foundation for their continued support.