In March of 1992, The Mule Deer Foundation had approximately 2,500 members. It appeared to be an organization with a good mission, so a group of Livermore conservationists formed a chapter and held a fundraising banquet.
You may have been one of the 194 people who attended the first banquet, held at the Springtown Community Center. We were quite proud to raise $14,000 for MDF. Since that time we’ve had seventeen additional banquets, making eighteen in total. This year is our nineteenth and 2012 will make it twenty.
In 1992 the mission was “To preserve and protect mule and blacktail deer and their habitat.” Since that time, the mission has evolved. The mission is now stated a little differently; “To ensure the future of mule deer, blacktail deer and their habitat.” The words are slightly different, but the meaning is the same.
Beyond the mission is a set of goals. The goals are:
- To restore, improve and protect mule deer habitat (including land and easement acquisitions) resulting in self-sustaining, healthy, free ranging and huntable deer populations;
- To encourage and support responsible wildlife management with government agencies, private organizations and landowners;
- To promote public education and scientific research related to mule deer and wildlife management;
- To support and encourage responsible and ethical behavior and awareness of issues among those whose actions affect mule deer;
- Acknowledge regulated hunting as a viable component of mule and black-tailed deer conservation.
Although MDF goals have been in place since inception, they too have evolved as the organization matured. Initially the word hunting was omitted. In about 1997, the MDF board of directors very deliberately added the fifth goal. We are an organization of hunters, and conservation includes hunting as a key component.
Goal number three addresses public education. In an effort to education our local youth, the Livermore-Pleasanton Chapter of MDF has held several youth days over the years and many local children have been introduced to conservation and also firearms, an important component of hunting.
This year, MDF will begin a new era of youth education and its fair to say that the Livermore-Pleasanton model will be part of the baseline for establishing a program that not only will have many volunteers, but also significant funding from Larry Potterfield of Midway USA.
In this year’s program, you will find a .243 youth rifle (donated by Potterfield) and the proceeds from the sale of this rifle will directly benefit MDF’s new youth program.
Thanks Larry Potterfield, we appreciate your business.