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More Than Just a New Season...It’s An All New Brotherhood Outdoors!
Beginning January 6, 2013
Montana Deer with a Union Operating Engineer: Operating Engineer and Bronze Star Veteran Scores a Big Montana Whitetail on Brotherhood OutdoorsView Photos
Jesse Mondragon, a member of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 564 in Richwood, Texas, is a man dedicated to family, work and volunteerism. He and his wife Sally have four grown children and 11 grandchildren. Mondragon works for Dow Chemical as a chemical process operator and serves on the steering team for the United Way, helping to ensure that union members and the companies they work for contribute to their communities.
Having earned a Bronze Star in the Persian Gulf War, Mondragon also serves as the military veterans’ representative for this company and union brothers and sisters and helps the Military Moms and Wives of Brazoria County collect goods and money to send care packages to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mondragon cut his hunting teeth pursuing rabbits in the deserts of Southern New Mexico, where he grew up. Later, he graduated to hunting whitetail deer in both New Mexico and Texas. Not surprising for a military man, he says, "I enjoy the camaraderie of other hunters and being with friends and family." And that camaraderie is something he values in the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance.
"I joined the Unions Sportsmen’s Alliance after hearing about it at a conference in Michigan," Mondragon said. "The USA is a great organization that benefits union members and their families and Brotherhood Outdoors is a great show that makes sure each union member’s story and work ethic is emphasized."
Like nearly every guest featured on Brotherhood Outdoors, Mondragon never thought he’d have a chance to be on the show, but he said, "I knew I couldn’t win if I didn’t submit an application."
After learning he had been chosen to appear on the show, Mondragon joined Brotherhood Outdoors host Tom Ackerman last November for a Northern Rockies whitetail hunt in Montana’s beautiful and dramatic Paradise Valley, just north of Yellowstone National Park.
"I knew it would be a trip of a lifetime," Mondragon said. But he was surprised by the single digit morning temperatures that were far colder than any he’d experienced in New Mexico and Texas. With the whitetail rut in full swing, he soon experienced what North Country hunters have known forever…nothing warms a hunter up faster than seeing game. Mondragon got the chance to see "unbelievable" numbers of deer, lots of elk and a gray wolf.
"I saw many bucks I wanted to shoot, but my guide, Mark, kept telling me there were bigger ones out there," Mondragon said.
His guide was right. When a beautiful, 145 Boone & Crockett class, 10-point whitetail appeared, Mondragon settled his rifle’s crosshairs on him and, let’s just say, his taxidermist is preparing a shoulder mount that will remind Jesse of his hunt for years to come.
Join Mondragon, your union brother who has walked the walk in soldier’s boots and is committed to supporting our troops, as he takes his trophy whitetail in an amazing western setting with herds of elk, wolves and mountains piercing the sky.
Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors on Sportsman Channel at 8 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, March 1.