Young Hunter Award Winner 2023

(DALLAS)— DSC is pleased to announce John Hartford as the recipient of the 2023 Colin Caruthers Young Hunter Award. This award honors young hunters who prioritize their time to be active both in the field and in their school and community.

The award is named for the late Colin Caruthers, an avid hunter and wildlife enthusiast from a young age. Colin spent countless hours at DSC thanks to his parents, Tommy and Pat Caruthers, longtime DSC Life Members who have been integral to the development of outdoor education programs for DSC. Colin thrived on the camaraderie of contract hunting and enjoyed learning from other hunters. DSC honors this young hunter’s devotion to hunting and conservation through this award.

“As hunters, we are conservationists,” said John Hartford. “And if we want our children and grandchildren to have the same hunting opportunities as us, conservation is vital to the growth and strengthening of wildlife populations and habitats.”

A life member of DSC and a senior at La Jolla High School in San Diego, California, Hartford is an accomplished hunter and conservationist who has hunted in North America, South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique. Hunting since he was 11 years old, Hartford has spent countless hours in the field with his family and friends. In addition, he successfully completed the Kobus Schoeman Hunting Academy Professional Hunter Course, certifying him as a South African Professional Hunter. Hartford served as an apprentice to professional hunter Jacques Strauss of Kowas Adventure Safaris in Namibia for two months during the summer of 2022.

“The main thing that stood out to me is John’s work ethic,” says Jacques Strauss of Kowas Adventure Safaris. “It shows commitment and confidence, while illustrating an eagerness to learn and great professionalism. I am humbled by his efforts to take an entire summer and dedicate it to worthwhile conservation efforts in Namibia.”

John has also maintained rigorous academic discipline while captaining and MVP of his high school baseball team, leading his rugby team, volunteering with the Rotary Club, and attending leadership camps as an active contributor to his community.

After high school, John is considering an appointment to the US Military Academy at West Point or attending a prominent university in Texas. Raised in a military family, Hartford has a high regard for service and would ultimately like to become a professional guide or hunter.

“John is very active in the conservation and hunting communities and helps set the standard for how our youth should conduct themselves in our industry,” said Michael Vernone, DSC President.

About DSC

A member of IUCN, DSC is a mission-focused conservation organization funded by hunters from around the world. With a small administrative staff and a volunteer army of 500, DSC hosts its annual Convention which raises funds for conservation, education and advocacy grants. In the last three years, more than $5 million has been channeled to qualified projects, organizations and programs in support of our mission. Get involved with DSC at

About DSCF

The DSC Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation organized under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. The DSC Foundation fulfills DSC’s mission to conserve wildlife and wildlands, educate youth and the general public, and promote and protect the rights and interests of hunters throughout the world. Learn more about the DSC Foundation at

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