Partnerships That Make CDLO's Junior Hunts Successful

Junior Shooter
Junior Hunter Practices Shooting


There have been a number of studies on California's deer herds over the years. Through them, important information has been collected on movements, survival problems, and why our deer herds continue to decline in California. Over several decades, conservation organizations such as the California Deer Association have contributed dollars for deer habitat improvement projects, but results have often fallen short of the goals. We are learning that we need to look at the Big Picture, focusing on large landscapes and long-term commitments.

Some of the problems that need to be addressed on public lands are the issues that affect deer and other wildlife throughout the western states. Many public lands have been mismanaged for their natural resources. Recreational uses of public lands, including hunting and fishing, bring in millions of dollars. But with ongoing overgrazing, energy development, mining, and other developments, management of wildlife habitat often takes a back seat and habitat degradation continues to occur. These issues need to be addressed by all conservation organizations. We must demand better management of our public lands if we are going to continue to enjoy the great outdoors. Organizations need to support projects that provide long-term benefits to wildlife habitat on both public and private lands.

In 2000 the Nature Conservancy bought a piece of property that became the Cañada de los Osos Ecological Reserve. The land was in turn bought by the Wildlife Conservation Board, then turned over to the California Department of Fish and Game to manage for habitat enhancement and protection, and for youth outdoor education. In 2002 a partnership between the California Deer Association and the Department of Fish and Game was formed to manage this 6,000 acres for the next 20 years.

To make a long story short, because of this partnership and long-term commitment, the Cañada de los Osos Ecological Reserve (CDLO) has become an example of what can be done to manage public lands and to have sustainable wildlife populations. Today CDLO supports a number of youth outdoor education programs with San Jose State University, Gavilan Community College, CDA, the Mule Deer Foundation, the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and the Friends of CDLO in long-term partnerships with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. CDA has been a lead organization with continued support of youth hunting and fishing programs.

The Friends of CDLO, the many volunteers, individual supporters, CDA, and other partnering organizations and institutions have ensured that, with a long-term plan and commitment, this land and its wildlife will benefit for years to come. Thank you to all the people and organizations for making this program successful.

CDA's financial support over the years has been particularly crucial for the ongoing success of the youth hunting program on the Reserve. In 2016, 35 junior hunters got outdoor experiences on the Reserve through deer, wild pig, turkey, and upland game hunts. There was 100% success in the deer hunt, and several pigs and turkeys were taken. Whether the junior hunters took home game or not, every one had a great time and learned about wildlife, hunter ethics, and the value of being outdoors.

Junior Hunter and Deer
Junior Hunter after Deer Hunt
Turkey Hunter
Turkey Hunter