This could take a while to say(I was'nt sure if I could tell this with out tearing up)
I control 175 acres for a farmer.He is a vegge and does not hunt but understands the need to control the deer population so I take care of it for him.
One of the ways I do this is to bring in 1st time hunters and there dads so they have a good safe place to hunt.This year was the 1st time a dad brought in a young lady(14 years old)to hunt.She got a big doe and when I came back up to them she was up to her elbos cutting the air tube and she turned around and said "I GOT ONE MR. MIKE" she proceded to finish up and reached down and grabbed the heart and said "hit her right in the heart"Her dad said with a BIG smile "thats my girl" when they were leaveing she said "I wish my brother could hunt again he was hurt in the war" Her dad had a bad look on his face so I asked what was up.He told me that his son lost both his legs in Irac and is not doing so good.He was a advid hunter befor he left and now just sits and stares out the window at the woods.So I told him that my hunting partner(paul) and I have taken out dissabled vets befor so just bring him up and we will take him out.
The next day he father called me and said it took alot but he got his son to get his lic. and could he come over. I told him that we were takeing out a vet on wend. so come on up.(now comes the hard part to say) when they showed up tony(the vet) was upset with his dad so I asked him if it would be ok just to leave him with us and we would call when we were done.He left and tony calmed down and was ready to go out hunting but he felt it was a waste of time he felt he would never hunt again.
So paul took frank(the other vet)He was hurt in afgan. and could only walk for about 50 feet.
I took tony down to the logging road and set him up and told him to stay alert they could walk by anytime.And that paul and I would be walking (slow push) around.I met up with paul and was getting ready to walk when BANG it wasn't 1 min when my phone rang and tony was so excited saying "I HIT HIM I HIT HIM I THINK HE IS DOWN"I told him to calm down and stay put and keep his eyes open(not thinking that he can't go any whare) I was on my way then BANG and less then 1 min.frank called paul saying he dropped a doe.Befor we could get going another shot rang out and frank called back saying he had hit another doe but it did not go down but he was sure he hit her good.So paul and I headed in and another shot! tony called and said he dropped a doe.All this happend in less then 30 min.Paul looked at me and said "well we better get to them befor there are no more deer left" When I got to tony the smile on his face told it all.50 yards out was a 6 point and 10 more yards out was a big doe.Both were hit solid and went down quick.So after feild dressing them and dragging them up next to tony I told him I was going for the truck and I would be right back.
I got up to the truck and paul was just getting there with 2 does and 1 happy hunter.
When I got back to tony he had tears in his eyes and he told me that he had given up on the idea that he would ever hunt or even go into the woods and that he even almost sold all his guns.And could not come up with the words to thank me.So I got him in the truck and loaded in his deer(in that order because I was starting to tear up).
When his dad showed up his sister came with him and gave me a BIG hug and thanked me for helping her brother.
When the deer were all loaded up in his truck and they were getting ready to leave his dad came to me and took me aside to tell me that this was the first time he saw a smile on his sons face sense he got home from the war.That his son had given up on ever haveing a "normal" life and hunting was a big part of his life befor he got hurt.Tony could not stop thanking me (in between telling the story of how he got his buck)So I just shook his hand and told him that it ment more to me then to him and that paul and I got just as much out of what we do then the people who we bring in to fill there freezer.
After gutting and dragging 2 deer apeice paul and I just sat there and talked about what happend for a couple of hours then went home.
We will be taking out 1st timers on thur. but nothing will ever top what happend that day.
No x-mas present can top the feeling that I got that day.
Thanks for all the kind words.This all started out haveing 15 DMAP tags the farm got.I could not figure out what to do with them because that is just to many to drop myself so I asked paul to help out and we decided instead of donating the meat we should let other people in to get some meat.But you never know who you are letting in or there hunting habits.So I talked to a local boys club and they told me about the father and son,dughter shoots that they have and they are allways asked if there is a safe place to go hunting for the first time.
So I set it up for them to come here.
Then I was at the vet. hospital getting probed and prodded when I heard a young man complaining to the doctor that he can't go hunting anymore and I asked why? He said "are you blind I am missing my leg"So trying not to be cold I asked if he could still hold a gun and shoot?. He smiled and said yes but are you willing to carry me into the woods,gut the deer and drag it and me out of the woods?. I said yes.
And so it started 3 years and alot of deer later this happend and it made all the gutting and draging worth it.
By the way the vet that started it all was frank the same guy that paul was helping out that day.He has a prosstetic leg now and is walking farther and farther every time I see him.
We may not get deer every time out but ALL have fun.
And paul and I get ALOT of x-mas cards of thanks.