2013 IHEA-USA Heritage Hunt
Three Hunter Education students and two instructors entered the drawing for the 2013 IHEA-USA Hunting Heritage Hunt and received "the call" from Brian Thurston, President/CEO - Focus Group, that they were selected from thousands of entries submitted from the announcement in the Hunter's Handbook --an annual publication that goes out to the over 650,000 hunter education students from across the country via state and provincial hunter education programs.
"When I received the call," admitted Art Kasson, Jr., Virginia hunter education instructor participant in the hunt, "I made sure to get a phone number and call back to verify whether it was real or not." While looking over the high desert Texas landscape, enjoying cooler-than-average weather, he said smiling, "Wow --it really was true, and now I'm here on my own personal hunt of a lifetime!"
The landscape is part of 14,000 acre Rock Canyon Ranch north of Del Rio, TX. Owner and Heritage Hunt Host, Ken Jones, and his guides provided 'red carpet' treatment to the lucky winners that traveled by plane and car to the ranch in mid October to experience the wildlife, hunting and rugged canyons of Southwest Texas.
Alyssa Johnson, Kansas hunter education student, after taking her first deer and going through an initiation ritual egged on by the capable guides and other participants, said, "That was really cool, but do I have to clean it? Eeewwww!" Her guide, Seth, replied immediately, "Of course!" (as he prepared to field dress the buck himself).
Leaha Wirth, Focus Group/Omni-Seattle, coordinated hunt logistics and hosted the annual Heritage Hunt on behalf of IHEA-USA and ensured that the hunt participants arrived safely to the ranch from the San Antonio airport. From there, the hospitality and generosity of Ken Jones and the Rock Canyon Ranch took over and showed the hunter education participants to excellent food, guides and a time "fit for a dream hunter."
2013 IHEA-USA Heritage Hunt Drawn ParticipantsHunter Education StudentsAlyssa Johnson (Stepfather: Michael Riese) - Hoisington, KSHoward Noon (Father: Carl Noon) - Stafford, TXJustin Triplett (Father: Greg Triplett) - Dade City, FLHunter Education InstructorsArthur Kasson, Jr. - Front Royal, VATim Whitford - Sullivan, MOHunter Education HostLeaha Wirth, (right)
Art Kasson, Jr., with his 'management buck' -- "an experience of a lifetime"
Alyssa Johnson from Kansas 'gets initiated' after shooting her first deer at the 2013 IHEA-USA Heritage Hunt
Guide "TH" helps Justin Triplett and his dad, Greg, from Florida, ensure that Justin's rifle is sighted in prior to his Dream Hunt.
Rock Canyon Ranch (www.huntrcr.com) near Del Rio in Southwest Texas is home of trophy whitetail, exceptional Texas hospitality and trophy exotics hunting.
A Special THANKS to the HOST and sponsors of the 2013 Heritage Hunt including:
HOST: Ken Jones, Rock Canyon RanchSPONSORS:Buck KnivesCabela'sCareco TelevisionFederal PremiumHi Viz Shooting SystemsOtis Technologies
THANKS, too, to FOCUS Group, IHEA-USA Hunter Education Administrators and Instructors and participating STUDENTS!
Steve Hall - IHEA-USA Executive Director