Hunters Pack Los Fresnos Community Center

Refuge officials giving information to the more than 200 hunters during one of three orientations held at Los Fresnos Community Center. Photo: Tony Vindell/LFN

by Tony Vindell/LFN

The Los Fresnos Community Center has seen its share of people this month as hundreds of people packed the room that hardly gets that full.

The reason for such activity has been because officials with the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge held three mandatory orientations for hunters selected from a random drawing to hunt white-tailed deer, nilgae antelope and feral hogs with a bow and arrow.

More than 200 hunters attended the last orientation on Thursday, Dec. 6 as LANWR officials talked about the regulations of the five-day archery hunt and gave a brief description of the 90,000-plus acreage refuge located about 20 miles east of Los Fresnos.

Sergio Vasquez, assistant manager at the refuge, said later the hunts went well and no injuries were reported.

The refuge issues 250 permits for each of the three five-day archery hunts but not everybody shows up.

The hunters came from all over the Lone Star State and many of them were from the Rio Grande Valley.

Los Fresnos resident Kenji Hoshino, Albert Perez of Harlingen, Pablo Villarreal of Port Isabel, and Homer Rios of Weslaco, were among the many Valley residents at the refuge during last of three archery hunts held December 7-10.

Hoshino said this is his first time archery hunting.

Hunter Luiz Perez, left, and Kenji Hoshino, heads back to their vehicles after a day of hunt at LANWR. Photo: Tony Vindell/LFN

“I even got this bow and arrow from a friend,” Hoshino said. “He was about to get rid of them but I told him I wanted to try it.”

Although he said he did not get a chance to harvest any animals, Hoshino said he liked spending the five days of the hunt in the great outdoors.

“It was great,” he said on the last day of the hunt. “I will try again (next year).”

Perez said this was also his first time hunting with a bow and arrow, while Rios and Villarreal said they have been hunting there since the 1980s.

They also said hunting is a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, to take home venison if it’s possible, and will apply for next year’s lottery hunt held at LANWF.

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