CRAIG, CO- Dick Dodds, owner of Elkhorn Outfitters, and Jim Zumbo, television host of Jim Zumbo Outdoors on the Outdoor Channel are reaching out to military families and are challenging youngsters to write a story and win a guided pronghorn antelope, mule deer or bull elk hunt this season. In 1000 words or less, entrants must answer “What hunting means to me and my family.”  Each candidate should also describe his/her hunting experiences (if any) and are invited to include their parents’ military service and what it means to them. Photos are accepted to accompany essay, but not required.

Youth 12 to 17 years old are invited to submit their essay.  Participants must have a parent currently deployed on active duty, wounded in combat or honorably discharged in any branch of the United States armed forces. They must have completed a hunter education course and be available to hunt during the 2009 season.

Many military children have become victims and face their own battle here at home dealing with the absence of a parent, an injured parent or the loss of their loved one. They face grief, loneliness and the burden of carrying on with life’s responsibilities.

Hunting has always been a connection to our past and a tradition passed down from generations. Our hope is to help bridge this generational gap for these children who are experiencing a void, don’t have the opportunity to hunt, or who have lost a parent that enjoyed hunting and loved the outdoors.  “We have been fortunate for many years with some of the best hunting Colorado has to offer,” said Dick Dodds.  “And now it’s time for us to give back. It is our hope this experience will reinforce the sense of connection to the past and lessen their sense of loss.” added Dodds.

Hunt Dates for 2009 will take place between August 31 – December 5, 2009. Three days of hunting are required for buck antelope or a 5-day hunt for buck mule deer and bull elk. Guided hunt, accommodations, and meals are included for the winning essays. Transportation to and from Craig, Colorado, meat processing and taxidermy is the responsibility of winners.

Essay submissions must include name, address, age, email and phone number and mailed to Hunt Essay Contest, 316 North Main Street, Greensboro, MD  21639 by no later than July 15, 2009. Essays may also be submitted electronically to cholden1026@yahoo.com Please include parent(s) branch of service and current military status to meet eligibility requirements. Winners will be notified by August 1, 2009. For more information, call 410-482-2419 or 281-824-1460.

Established in 1982, Elkhorn Outfitters prides itself on offering quality guided hunts for elk, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, and mountain lion.  In addition to hunting opportunities, join Elkhorn for unforgettable winter adventures of snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, tubing and fun for the whole family!  Elkhorn Outfitters is located in Craig, known as the Elk Hunting Capital of the World in beautiful northwest Colorado.  For additional information, visit our website at www.elkhornoutfitters.com , Email: huntinbob@gmail.com or by calling 281-824-1460.

TEAM HUNTINGLIFE had the pleasure of interviewing Dick Dodds and Dean at the RMEF CONVENTION… WATCH BELOW…