Population management is a problem facing Texas game ranchers. Colby Pack's solution to an over-populated white-tail deer herd is quite unique, though.
Pack's family owns a game ranch in Fredericksburg that he, his family and other avid hunters from across the state use throughout the year. At the end of hunting season, in order to maintain Texas managed lands deer permitting requirements, they must thin the herd. Instead of taking the family hunting again at the end of this deer season, he wanted to make a difference.
This January Pack will take eight Stephenville children who live in the foster home to the family game ranch for a fun-filled weekend getaway.
"I wanted to do something that the children would really enjoy," Pack said.
Pack is working with Foster's Home for Children to take four boys and four girls to Fredricksburg for their hunting adventure.
Glenn Newberry, president of Foster's Home, said the weekend will be special for the kids.
"It's a real privilege for them," Newberry said.
After Pack began telling a few close friends about his plan, the outing "took on a life of its own."
Community members began hearing about the weekend and wanted to get involved.
"We never asked for anyone to give, but people heard about it and wanted to be a part of it," Pack said. "That's what is so neat."
Now the weekend has evolved from a small hunting trip into a packed weekend. Local businesses have contributed to the event that now includes food, fun and a little learning.
Bull Nettle and Butler's Smokehouse have donated wild game meat for the meals and staff are joining the group in Fredricksburg to cook the food as well. Kids will be able to eat quail and other wild game for the first time.
Pack also had to build additional deer stands for the kids. After a donation from Bradberry's Building Supply, new metal deer stands sit on the Fredricksburg Ranch.
A federal game warden is taking part in the hunting trip as well. Charles Rhodes will talk to the children about being good stewards of the land and safe hunting practices.
"There will be a lot of learning to go along with the weekend, but it is going to be fun and interactive," Pack said.
The kids are also being outfitted with hunting gear. Walls is donating coats to each of the children and everyone involved in the weekend.
After they return with their animals, Butler's Smokehouse will process the meat and give it to the Foster's Home.
The weekend will be documented on Blue Collar Adventures, a TV series on Versus after the Stephenville host caught wind of the trip.
"We've got an amazing community," Pack said. "When you want to touch someone's life like that, everyone just gives without asking."
Pack is already planning on making this an annual event.
"We're going to do this ever year. It won't always be in Fredricksburg though, we're going to travel around the state," said Pack.
He recalled fond memories of family hunting trips when he was growing up and looks forward to helping others make those special memories themselves.
Each child will be paired with a guide who will share their knowledge of proper gun and hunting methods and safety.