FREER, Texas — The Muy Grande Deer Contest is in full swing, once again. With bow hunting season under way, people have begun to flock to Freer, Texas for what the owner calls the oldest deer contest.
“It’s kind of like spring break for y'all at Corpus (Christi)," Muy Grande owner Kenneth Sharber said. "When the suns out everybody goes to the beach. Well hey, when hunting season is open everybody goes to the lease.”
The contest that started in 1965 has grown so much attention people from all over the world come to compete. Celebrities and famous athletes have been known to get in on the action too.
“It’s an honor," Sharber said. "It’s an honor to meet so many wonderful people because in the hunting world it’s a wonderful family of people and that’s what it is. Huge family. You get to learn from other people and it’s an amazing deal.”
Others have also said their favorite part is the new interactions.
“The people," said Romero Villarreal, a former contestant. "You meet a lot of different people from other states other countries and stuff. And we just show them home remedies or stuff like that.”
When the contest first started, founder Leonel "Muy" Garza only had one category for people to compete in There are now 80 categories for a variety of age groups.
“It was exciting," 11-year-old Ariselley Bazar said, a second time contestant. "It was very fun to compete with other kids and just seeing what other kids have."
"From the kids that come in, you get to watch them grow up and they get excited to come down here to hunt," Sharber said. "They get excited and they come in and they know you're name. They remember your name before you remember theirs. So, to me that's a heartwarming moment."
The contest runs through hunting season. Season time frame is determined by Texas Parks and Wildlife. Hunters have all season to top their respective category.
Winners receive a unique embroidered hunting jacket, trophies and more.