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Quail Forever needs volunteers to help restore seven guzzlers


The High Desert Chapter of Quail Forever needs a few good men. Or women.

The volunteer organization has received a grant from the Department of Fish and Wildlife to restore seven important wildlife water sources in the Shadow Mountains-El Mirage area northeast of Adelanto during work projects from November through April.

The seven water systems, or guzzlers, are all in total disrepair and will need total rehabilitation, including new water tanks, complete reconstruction of the water-catching aprons, sealing of those aprons, along with fencing and signage. The seven guzzlers, built in the 1950s, have been nearly completely destroyed by vandalism and time. They have had virtually no maintenance since they were built.

But there’s a cravat for the work to move forward. The club needs to recruit some new volunteers to help with the extensive labor on these projects or they might have to pass on the $19,156 grant for materials and forego the restoration project. So the group is asking for volunteers to sign up now for the projects that will take place this coming fall and winter. The group needs to make sure it has enough volunteers by August so it can begin to order the tanks and other materials it will need for the restoration work.

Anyone willing to spend a day or three working on these wildlife drinkers should contact Dave Smith with Quail Forever to get on the work sign-up sheet. His number is 760-617-3291. You can also attend the club’s next meeting, which will be held beginning 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 16, at the Apple Valley Gun Club. Volunteers do not need to be members of Quail Forever.

FREE DEER AND HOG HUNTS FOR JUNIOR HUNTERS: There will be five guided hog hunts and five guided antlerless deer hunters offered free to junior hunters on the Tejon Ranch during the 2016 season. The hunts, offered by the Tejon Ranch, the Mule Deer Foundation, and the Department of Fish and Wildlife, area awarded through a random drawing.

“These hunts are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for juniors to experience a free guided hunt on the famous Tejon Ranch,” said Jerry Spring who has run these “Sharing the Tradition” hunts for the past 12 years. Springer said that over the past 12 hunts, 212 junior hunters have participated in these hunts with a 98 percent success rate on deer and 90 percent success rate on will hogs.

The deadline to apply for this year's drawing is October 15. Hunts will all take place during the week of December 12th. The application form can be found on the DFW website at Go to the section entitled “Places to Hunt.” Click on the link “Sharing the Tradition” for a PDF application. You can also e-mail Jerry Springer at, and he will e-mail you an application.

The 10 junior hunters will be drawn at random for a free one-on-one guided antlerless deer hunt or one-on-one guided hog hunt on the 270,000-acre Tejon Ranch, located in Kern County just south of Bakersfield. Lodging on the ranch is included and each junior hunter will receive non-lead ammunition from Barnes Bullets, a pair of binoculars from Alpen Optics, plus hunting and shooting equipment from Hunter's Specialties and Birchwood Casey.

MORE SPECIAL DRAWING JUNIOR BIG GAME HUNTS: Three junior hunters will have a special opportunity to hunt deer on the Chimineas Unit of the Carrizo Plain Ecological Reserve. Applications for the drawing-only hunt must be received by an Aug. 12 deadline.

The two-day hunt, which is being offered in cooperation with the California Deer Association (CDA), will be held on Sept. 17-18 on the 30,000-acre reserve in San Luis Obispo County. Mandatory hunter orientation will be held in the evening on Sept. 16. Overnight lodging will be available at the main ranch house on the ecological reserve on Sept. 16 and 17.

The three apprentice (or junior) hunters will be chosen by lottery. Selected apprentice hunters must be accompanied by an adult. Participants will receive classroom, range and field training in gun handling techniques and safety, deer hunting techniques, and field game care. Hunts will be led by CDA volunteers. CDA will also provide breakfast, lunch and dinner on Sept. 17, as well as breakfast and lunch on Sept. 18.

Applicants must submit a postcard with the junior hunter’s name, address, telephone number, and 2016-2017 junior hunting license number to: Chimineas Apprentice Deer Hunt, Department of Fish and Wildlife, 3196 South Higuera St., Suite A, San Luis Obispo, 93401.

Only one postcard may be submitted for each applicant. Applications must be received in the San Luis Obispo office by 5 p.m. on Aug. 12. Late or incomplete applications will not be entered in the drawing. Successful applicants will be notified by phone and will receive additional information, including maps and special regulations, prior to the hunt. Successful applicants will need to possess a valid A zone deer tag at the time of the hunt.

TWO SAN BERNARDINO MOUNTAINS’ TRAILS REOPEN: On Tuesday this past week, the U.S. Forest Service reopened the Pacific Crest Trial and the Santa Ana River Trail in the area closed since the 2015 Lake Fire in the Barton Flats-San Gorgonio Wilderness area.

Trail crews have rehabilitated the Pacific Crest Trail in the burned area, and it is reopened with some restrictions: First, hikers must stay on the trail in the burn area. Second, hikers must have a Pacific Crest Trail Long Distance Hiker Permit. Third, equestrian use is still not recommended. Fourth, if storms are forecast, the trail could be closed because of risk of mud and debris flows, and hikers should check with Forest Service officials in advance.

There are no restrictions on the Santa Ana River Trail.

For more information, call the Mill Creek Visitor Center at 909-382-2882.


[Jim Matthews is a syndicated Southern California-based outdoor reporter and columnist. He can be reached via e-mail at or by phone at 909-887-3444.]

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