- Last Updated on 07:31 AM 11/23/12
- BY Tiffany Hudson
Approximately 20 wounded warrior hunters and their invited guests answered dawn’s cold wakeup call Saturday, slipping into hunting blinds for a day of deer hunting at Staunton River State Park. The Wheelin’ Sportsmen division of the Halifax County National Wild Turkey Foundation sponsored the deer hunt Saturday.
A total of 10 hunters participated in Saturday’s hunt traveling to Staunton River State Park from Charlottesville, Mechanicsville, Craigsville, Stanardsville, Danville, Evington, Chester, Grottoes, Timberville and Alton.
Wounded warrior participants included Robin Clark of Charlottesville, Daryl “Bubba” Johnson of Mechanicsville, Bobby McLain of Craigsville, John Phillips of Stanardsville, Chris Ratcliff of Danville, Jason Scruggs of Evington, David “D. J.” Sharp of Chester, Glenn Smith of Grottoes, Markecia Hamlett of Alton and Bev Tusing of Timberville.
The 12-year-old wounded warrior project is active all over the country and focuses on getting wounded veterans outdoors for hunting and fishing activities.
This was the eighth such hunt sponsored by the local National Wild Turkey Foundation, according to local Chapter Vice President David Vaughan, who said the local chapter was the first in the state to sponsor the Wheelin’ Sporstman Wounded Warrior hunt.
About 33 similar hunts are held like this across the state, he added.
When the chapter began sponsoring the event, it was held at Edmunds Farm. However, for the past three years, the event has been held at Staunton River State Park, Vaughan said.
“This year we had 10 hunters, and each of them except one brought someone with them, so we had 19 hunters,” he added. “We killed seven deer, two bucks, and one buck was six-years-old, a 14-pointer.”
The wounded warriors were taken to ground blinds for the hunt early Saturday morning, where the handicapped hunters were assisted by National Wild Turkey Foundation members.
Around noon the hunters and their National Wild Turkey Foundation hosts were treated to Vaughan’s homemade Brunswick stew made on-site during the morning.
The hunters were then taken back to their blinds where they hunted until dark.
“It was one of the more successful hunts we’ve had,” Vaughan added.
When the hunters kill a deer, some choose to take the deer with them and others donate their kills to Hunters for the Hungry.
“If anyone kills a deer and wants to donate it to Hunters for the Hungry, we have a trailer set up at Jerry Epps’ Landscaping in Halifax,” Vaughan said of the National Wild Turkey Federation’s partnership with Hunters for the Hungry.
“All they have to do is field-dress it and come over and drop it off,” he added.
Year before last, Hunters for the Hungry provided 410,000 pounds of venison to hungry people in Virginia, Vaughan said.
Speaking of the group’s partnership with Hunters for the Hungry, Vaughan added, “We help them anyway we can with golf tournaments, skeet shoots, etc.”
He explained the purpose of Saturday’s wounded warrior hunt is to provide an outing for the wounded warriors who come back from war with no arms, no legs, paralyzed and often become discouraged sitting at home.
“We bring them out to hunt at no charge, and we do this once a year,” Vaughan concluded.