Montana Wounded Warriors held their second hunt of the fall at Fort Peck Montana. Board president Jesse Mann took 6 wounded veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan on this trip. The group were hunting mule deer as well as ducks and geese with a little fishing added in for good measure. The hunt was extremely successful with all of our hunters taking game.
Hunting and Fishing 2012
Montana Wounded Warriors final trip of the year was in Dillon, MT and to say we finished strong this year would be an understatement.
I received a call from Jason Baker of Montana Mallards about getting some of our Wounded Warriors out on a waterfowl hunt on some bodies of water that he leases in Dillon. Jason said that he could accommodate 3-4 vets and I told him I would see what I could put together.
I lined up 3 of our wounded Veterans from the Flathead Valley and started to make plans for our trip. A couple of weeks later Jason called again to say the Tash family who he leases waterfowl rights from were willing to let our Warriors hunt whitetails on their ranch.
This was getting better, bucks and ducks.
Well about a week later Jason called to say that there was a local family that might be willing to let our guys hunt elk of their ranch, my only thought was God is Good.
I contacted Blade Schuett and asked him about the possibility of our wounded servicemen hunting elk on his family’s property. He said he would speak to his father David but he thought their was a pretty good chance it could happen. We headed down to Dillon in a snowstorm Friday November 9th, not sure what to expect. When we got there 8 inches of snow was on the ground and the wind was blowing hard.
Jason decided to take Kyle and Damien out for a little duck hunt before dark. The weather had changed the duck pattern that Jason had been used to but the guys got some trigger time and some ducks before dinner. That night at dinner I met Blade and he said that all 3 guys would be able to hunt elk on their ranch, oh and by the way there were about 800 head on the place this time of year, did I mention God is Good?
The next morning two of our Vets, Kyle and Damien, went elk hunting while Jason took Billy out for ducks and geese. It was about 5 degrees with a 20 mile an hour wind so it was chilly. Billy was a good shot and the ducks and geese were falling. At about 9am we got a call that Damien had taken a 6×7 bull. We got together for stories and then took his bull to the butcher.
That afternoon Damien went deer hunting on the Tash’s property while Kyle and Billy went out for elk. The only deer Damien saw were a long ways off so he passed on a shot. We didn’t here anything from Blade so we were unsure if they were seeing any elk. When they met us back at the lodge our 2 hunters told us they had seen some cows and then showed us the pictures of the 2 bulls they had shot, 3 bulls one day fair chase hunt, it doesn’t get any better.
The smiles were huge, we may have had a couple of drinks, I’m not sure. The next morning 2 of our hunters didn’t make it out of bed, we cut them some slack as it was -2 degrees with a 20 mile wind and they did already have a bull on the ground. Jason took Kyle out and he shot his 1st goose and a couple of ducks.
That evening Billy filled his B tag with a whitetail at Tash’s and the next morning Kyle took a buck and a doe at Tash’s. We had a 4th Wounded Warrior on the hunt who was there more to help cook and counsel but still found time to go out on the Beaverhead and catch some very nice Brown trout, what an awesome weekend.
Three bull elk, three whitetail deer, multiple ducks and geese and some fish to top it off all on Veterans Day weekend.
When reality exceeds your dreams you know things are going well, did I mention God is Great.
The board of Montana Wounded Warriors would like to thank Jason Baker for his wonderful waterfowl guiding under difficult conditions and his ability to network with other members of the Dillon community and open so many doors for us.
We would also like to express our sincere thanks to Todd and Lisa Tash and Todd’s father for allowing us to hunt on their ranch. The deer were plentiful and the rut was on.
And to David and Blade Schuett I would like to say thank you for making dreams come true. Our Wounded Warriors from the Flathead are not used to seeing elk in the numbers that were on your ranch, no less being allowed to hunt them. You were extremely generous to allow our Montana Wounded Warriors access to hunt your property and for that I will be forever grateful.
I truly hope we will be back in Dillon next year. Thanks to everyone who made this a successful year for Montana Wounded Warriors. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and may God Bless you all and may God Bless America and all those who have fought to protect our freedom.
While our spring turkey hunt in Alzada didn’t end with a tag on a turkey, board member Neil Baumann wanted to give Kyle Lockwood another chance closer to home.
Kyle and Neil both live in the Flathead Valley and later in the spring Neil was able to get permission from a local farmer to take Kyle hunting on the farm where he had seen turkeys.
Neil met Kyle and his wife Veronica on the last weekend of the season in May. The turkeys were gobbling on the roost as soon as they got there so they quickly got Kyle and his wife in a groundblind at the edge of the wheat field. Neil called a nice gobbler in and Kyle and Veronica were able to watch the mature bird strut and gobble for 15 minutes before Kyle sealed the deal.
It was Kyle’s first turkey and it weighed 19 pounds with a nine inch beard. The hunt was over by 6:45am – good job Kyle.
Special thanks to Karl and Carol Schrade for allowing Montana Wounded Warriors to take one of our wounded warriors hunting on their property. The Schrade’s have also offered to allow us to take other wounded veterans hunting there in the future. Thank you and God bless.
The end of April found Montana Wounded Warriors in Alzada, Montana for a spring turkey hunt.
Board members Dr. David Sheldon and Neil Baumann accompanied wounded warriors Kyle Lockwood of Kalispell and Saul Martinez of Bozeman on this trip.
Both men had been wounded during their tours in Iraq.
We were the guests of Mike and Esther Watkins of Trophies Plus Outfitters. Mike and Esther were wounderful hosts, our soldiers where given the red carpet treatment, the lodge was great and the food outstanding, nobody went hungry.
The weather however was awful. We dealt with snow, high winds and driving winds, not exactly prime turkey hunting conditions. We saw turkeys and had some missed shots but unfortunately neither of our hunters got a bird.
Nevertheless, the trip was seen as a success by our veterans. They were able to discuss their experiences in Iraq and their injury’s and recuperation with someone who had been there and lived that. They were also surprised at how many common acquaintances they had in the service and how close they had been geographically while serving.
While we would hope that every hunt would end with game on the ground, because it is fair chase hunting that doesn’t always happen. Still we always provide a quality environment for our wounded warriors to relax and bond with fellow veterans, and that sense of comradery and healing is really what it’s all about.
Thank you to Trophies Plus Outfitters and all of our supporters who make it possible to provide this kind of experience to servicemen. We can never thank them enough for their sacrifice.
P.S. Both of these soldiers as well as four others will be hunting mule deer with us this fall.