Veteran, and newest board member of Montana Wounded Warriors, Chris Grudzinski took Jared Sharp and Jake Parker to Harlowtown on the Miller Ranch. Jared and Jake saw several deer all day long and decided on these two young big bodied whitetail bucks. They both made great long distance shots to drop these two deer dead in their tracks and fill their freezers with some much deserved meat. Chris had a great time getting to bond with these two combat veterans since they all served in Iraq together. It was a great day filled with laughs and recalling some great memories and they all shared and cannot wait to do it again next year. They ended the night with meeting up and having dinner to spend just a little more time together before having to part on our own ways. One other note to the pictures is this was Jake’s boy Jonah’s first year hunting, and he got to be there when his dad got a deer. Was a pretty proud moment for Jake and his boy.
Hunting and Fishing 2015
Montana Wounded Warriors took its annual trip to Dillon November 20th-22nd. This year we had five veterans hunting on the Schuett and Tash ranches. While the water fowl hunting was a little slow this year, the deer and elk were plentiful. By the end of the weekend, we had harvested two bull and three cow elk as well as a buck and two whitetail does.
Friday afternoon, after we got settled in, some of our hunters went out for deer on the Tash ranch, and Blade Schuett took two hunters to the family farm for elk. We saw some great deer, but were unable to get a shot off. But one of Blade’s hunters, Justin Moschelle, was more fortunate and harvested a cow elk.
Saturday morning started off with Ike Zahn filling his tag with a cow elk. We went into town and had a great lunch at Papa T’s, and then during the afternoon hunt John shot a nice whitetail buck.
We finished strong on Sunday with Nick Geissler and Chad Tucker each shooting a bull elk at Schuett’s in the morning. Then, that afternoon, Nick was able to fill a couple of Whitetail B tags at Tash’s, and John shot a cow elk at Schuett’s.
The weekend’s hunt put a lot of meat in our wounded veteran’s freezers. We would like to thank the Schuett’s, Tash’s, and Jason Baker of Montana Mallards for once again showing our vets a wonderful weekend. This is one of our favorite hunts of the year, and no one was disappointed. We are looking forward to returning to hunt with our good friends in Dillon again next fall.
This was our third year that Montana Wounded Warriors traveled to Twin Bridges and hunted the Trails End Ranch from November 19-21, 2015. We all met up Thursday afternoon at Sanborn’s Fish Kreek Ranch Pheasant Preserve. Hunters Alex Betz, Justin Morin and Deondrai Ramsey, all of Helena, and Richard Schellenger and Matt Grandpre, both of Billings, were introduced to Montana Wounded Warriors helpers and veterans Mark Boardman and Chad Tucker and preserve owner Bob Sanborn and his helper Joe Buffa (a retired Army NCO, who was a United States Marksmanship Unit shotgun shooter that won an Olympic Bronze Medal).
The group from left to right: Bob Sanborn, Joe Buffa and his dog, Matt Grandpre, Richard Schellenger, Mark Boardman and his dog Barli, Alex Betz, Chad Tucker, Justin Morin, and Deondrai Ramsey.
Justin and Deondrai with a Pheasant.
Barli with the end of the day kill.
After hunting Pheasants we drove down to just south of Twin Bridges to the Big Hole C4 Lodge for some quality chat, camaraderie, and plenty of tall tales. The next morning we meet up with Kyle Nye and Casey Cox on the Trails End Ranch to shoot some rounds and confirm our zero. We then headed to the river bottoms to thin out the whitetail population some. Over the next two days they harvested 3 nice whitetail bucks and 21 does. This Ranch is absolutely beautiful and managed in a stewardship manner to produce excellent wildlife opportunities. We’re very grateful for Mr. Kennedy to allow us access, resources and provide this wonderful healing atmosphere.
Hanging out with Kyle and Casey was a great time as always, and they both did an awesome job of helping our warriors out around the ranch. We had a wonderful time and would like to thank the owners of the Trails End Ranch and their staff for the opportunity to hunt their property. We would also like to thank Dave and Cindy Ashcraft and their two daughters of the Big Hole C4 Lodge for providing excellent accommodations and cooking two great home cooked ranch style dinners! Saturday night we met up with Neil Baumann and David Sheldon, also Montana Wounded Warriors board members, who brought with them two hunters from their Dillon trip, for a large gathering and meal at the Big Hole C4 Lodge.
The hunt was completed Saturday night with a total of 3 bucks and 21 does for a total of 24 deer in about 9 hours of hunting. That’s like one deer being killed every 22 minutes! The Trails End Ranch is a high quality ranch offering once in a lifetime opportunities. Thanks to Mr. Kennedy and his Staff!
We returned to the NBar the second week in November with two of our wounded veterans, Rob Aguirre and Nathan Pross. We spotted a very large herd of elk shortly after arriving. Ranch manager, Mike Sedgwick, and his assistant Mike, helped get our hunters in place. As we peered over the ridge down into the draw, there in front of us were approximately two hundred elk made up of cows, calves and spikes. They got into place and Nathan was the first to harvest a nice cow.
We loaded Nathan’s elk into the truck and then started to drive and glass, looking for where the herd had moved off to. After a couple of hours, Mike spotted a small group of elk bedded on a hillside. We parked the truck and hiked a mile to the bottom of the hill. Then, using the trees as cover, we got into position. When the elk stood up, Rob shot his cow and dropped it instantly with a neck shot – lots of blood, but no wasted meat!
After lunch, Mike Sedgwick took the guys out to look for prairie dogs. He didn’t have to look far. The guys spent a fun afternoon shooting prairie dogs across the ranch. That evening Mike and his wife hosted a nice dinner at the lodge. Once again we would like to thank the Wilks brothers, and their manager, Mike Sedgwick, and the wonderful staff at the NBar for the great time they showed our wounded vets. We look forward to being invited back in the future.
This year the traditional elk and deer hunt in Lavina had a different twist. The unseasonably warm weather had not pushed the elk out of the Smoky Range, making elk hunting for our wounded warriors extremely tough. We hunted for days with only one deer down. During the last day of the hunt one of the ranchers involved with the annual Lavina hunt had lined up a buffalo hunt to ensure that our wounded warriors were going home with hundreds of pounds of meat for their freezer. We drove 45 minutes to Dave and Steve’s Buffalo Ranch. They welcomed the MTWW with open arms and showed wonderful hospitality. They brought us into their home, showed us their ranch, and took us out on the hunt. After we spotted the bull, Broc O’Hara (Wounded Warrior) made a great shot. The Bull weighed about 2,000 pounds. This year’s hunt ended on a wonderful note, but more than the meat in the freezer, the bond that took place between three wounded warriors was wonderful. The friendship was built on a common ground from each describing their deployments and enjoying stories around the camp fire and toasting to PFC Ballard’s memory. The Ballard’s lost one son but truly gained three more during this hunt.
Montana Wounded Warriors McCay Mathiason, Brandon Olsen, and board member Bob Lilienthal were met and welcomed to the ranch by manager and guide extraordinaire Mike Sedgwick. Through the generosity of the Wilks brothers, the ranch owners, our wounded warriors were offered the chance to harvest cow elk on the N-Bar property. As the photos will attest, the hunting was great as Mike Sedgwick and his team were able to get our vets four cow elk in one day. The accommodations were first class, and everyone involved had a wonderful time.
Our sincere and heartfelt thanks to the owners, management and staff for making Montana Wounded Warriors feel appreciated, welcomed and right at home at the N-Bar Ranch.
Once again, Carl Mann, of Carl Mann’s Montana Experience Outfitting, and the staff at the historic Fort Peck Hotel hosted six Montana veterans, Ron Nye, Clint Moore, Aaron Lurz, Spencer Keck, Tannon Hillis and Tim Cooper for mule deer and bird hunting.
The first day saw Tannon and Aaron coming back with their bucks after working the prairie with their guides Dylan and Nate.
The second day had Tim returning with his buck and Spencer with his first ever buck after working through the prairie mud-yes it rained, but it was still a great day.
The third morning, Ron and Clint had to leave early without getting their bucks, but they had a great time with their guide Dennis.
The other four had a fun day hunting pheasant. Each of the six expressing their gratitude for the opportunity provided by Montanans and their generosity.
Montana Wounded Warriors were invited to hunt on property in the Lewistown area this year. The first weekend we were there, John Bennett and Art Hazen joined us. Chris Grudzinski, our newest board member, helped lead the hunt. Both vets were successful. John got a whitetail buck and Art got a cow elk. What was unique about this hunt is Josh Rouns, (property owner’s son), John, Art and Chris all served in the 163rd Infantry Combat Unit in Iraq and the camaraderie was amazing.
The following weekend two more wounded vets, Chuck Hayter and Chad Tucker, joined Chris Grudzinski on the same property. Chuck scored on a beautiful whitetail. Though Chad was unable to fill a tag, he had some success later in the season. See Dillon hunt for details (coming soon!)
A huge thank you to Harley for guiding the hunts.
We were blessed to be invited back to the Hirschy Ranch in Wisdom, MT and accompanied by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Two of our Montana wounded vets, Chris Mazur and Jon Kristjanson, were able to harvest cow elks. Many thanks to all who were a part of this successful hunt.
On October 22, three of our Montana Wounded Warriors, George Burke, Chris Grudzinski and Jared Sharp, got together to hunt pheasant and other upland birds. We were greeted by some really great people in NE Montana! Folks up there are very patriotic caring people. Thanks so much to the Aspenleider family – Scott Aspenleider, George Stensland, Jesse Nickels, Dave and Shele Christofferson and the whole Christofferson gang!