Program matches teens, mentors for big-game hunt

CODY - Take on a new challenge and hobby this fall - and maybe even bring home some meat for the freezer. Kids ages 12-17, women and families in the Big Horn Basin who want to learn to hunt are invited to apply for a mentored hunting program that culminates with a fall hunt for a doe white-tailed deer. Applications are due by May 13.
“No previous hunting experience or equipment is necessary. The program is designed for first-time hunters and those that don’t have the opportunity to learn from a friend or family member,” said Tara Hodges, Wyoming Game and Fish Department Cody regional information and education specialist.
The program, called Wood River Deer Hunt, is hosted by the Wyoming Outdoorsmen, the First Hunt Foundation and Game and Fish. In a unique collaboration, these organizations and private landowners are collaborating for a seventh year to offer first-time hunters a mentored hunting experience.
“Big game hunting is a way to spend time outside with friends and family making memories,” Hodges said. “Also, it’s a great way to provide food for your family.”
Selected applicants will be paired with a mentor who will coach them through all aspects of a hunt for a doe white-tailed deer this fall. Prior to the hunt, participants will spend a day at the range shooting a rifle and practice with a simulated hunt. The hunt will occur in September on several private ranches in the Wood River valley west of Meeteetse. A parent or a designated chaperon must accompany youth under 18 participating in the program.
No previous hunting or shooting experience is necessary. Parent-child teams who want to learn how to hunt together are highly encouraged to apply. Applications are due by May 13. Spots are limited.
The Wood River Deer Hunt program is led by community organizations with support from Game and Fish through the WY Hunt Fish Initiative. For more information or to learn about other mentored hunting and fishing opportunities, visit or call Bruce Salzmann, Wyoming Outdoorsmen board member at 715-530-1565.