Elk NetworkJack Hodge Deer Hunt

Volunteer News | March 23, 2023

Hello, I am Jack Hodge I am 12 years old. I went hunting for deer at your youth hunt in Tillamook Oregon. The second I heard my dad say there was a hunt for youth 12-17, I knew we were going to be at the gates first thing it opened.

I would like to thank you guys at the Rocky Mountain. Elk Foundation for keeping kids into hunting. For example, I was so excited that my dad came up with this and I shot my first deer! I shot it with a 6.5 Creedmoor. And I am so happy to say I shot it on a youth hunt only here in Tillamook. And thank you guys so much for keeping us in the game and keeping us interested in such a wonderful sport.

Hunting all my life has meant so much to me, from getting the animal depending on what season it is, to the tracking and glassing. And when I hear that something is a youth hunt, that makes me more excited than I already am! If I couldn’t hunt all day I would fish and if I wasn’t doing either, then I would probably work on my gear.

The future of hunting or the next generation of hunting is in my and all other youth hunters’ hands, for example, kids like me in a few years will be managing and taking their kids to the wonderful places that our parents took us.

I mow lawns to save up and I am thinking of buying a .270. I really hope I get an elk this year! Thank you again so much Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. My first deer will never be forgotten.

-Jack K Hodge


Jack Hodge was able to shoot his first deer thanks to the RMEF Youth “First Time” Program in Oregon. The program guarantees big game hunting opportunities for youth ages 12-17 who have never taken an animal that they are drawn for.

Jack drew an antlerless deer tag last fall and was ecstatic. He had just passed his hunter safety class and was ready to hit the hills. Stimson Lumber closes off a section of their timberland property in Tillamook, Oregon for the hunt.

Jack’s father Ian says that Jack was learning how to glass and look on the hills when, on the second day of the season, they spotted a doe. Jack got out his shoot sticks, put a bead on the deer and shot it, then he learned how to field dress and skin the animal himself.

“Being with my son when he harvested and field dressed his first deer was one of our greatest bonding moments,” says Ian. “Almost immediately he better understood how hunting positively affects our lives and surrounding natural environments.”

Congratulations, Jack. We are rooting for you on your future hunts and hope you can fill your freezer with elk next!