Wounded Warrior Hunts
families, and volunteers.”
Day 3: Honors and Special Guests
Nick Jedlicka, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, had an opportunity to hunt a great property and took a handsome nine-point buck.
That evening the soldiers were encouraged to share a little about themselves and where they had served. Their humbleness was overwhelming. No matter how long they had served, how many tours they had done, or how severe their injuries, none of them considered themselves to be heroes. To them it was just part of the job.
Day 4: Big Bucks, Big Finish
The soldiers greeted their last day with a morning hunt.
Conservation Department staff set up the evening’s event. They prepared a meal of venison kabobs, fried catfish, venison chili, and sides for about 250–275 people, including the soldiers, volunteers, and members of the community. Some of the funding for the event was provided by the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation. To learn more, visit missouriconservationheritagefoundation.org.
Alex Rutledge, host of the TV show Bloodline with Alex Rutledge, had hunted that morning with Robert Duke, of St. Robert, Mo., and he gave a talk to close the event. It was a night of good food, pride, and patriotism.
The hunters took a total of 11 deer. Most of the deer were donated by the hunters to the Share the Harvest program.
These events are always met with excitement and appreciation by the participants. However, it is their ability to help individuals and families heal that really make them special.
“We have seen more than 70 lives changed for the better at our events, families and marriages restored, hope and purpose restored in the life of the soldier and his family. This is what it is all about,” says Tron. “Also, several of our wounded warriors have returned to their home states and started programs to help other wounded warriors.”
Behind the Scenes
It takes a great deal of funding, labor, material, and moral support to offer these programs. Planning begins months in advance. Luckily, community members, business leaders, and other organizations have been extremely generous and supportive of their returning heroes.
Many volunteers participated daily during the event as well as before and afterward. In addition, 50–60 volunteers worked at least 10 hours on three of the event’s four days.
“We receive support from both local and national companies, churches, and faith-based groups as well as the community,” says Tron. “We have