Tichacek Donation Funds Disabled Accessible Blinds

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Gene Tichacek in a waterfowl blind
Gene Tichacek in a waterfowl blind

A long-time waterfowl hunter and fisherman, Eugene J. (Gene) Tichacek has a lot of stories to tell. A resident of St. Louis, Gene fondly remembers going on hunts with his father as a boy with BB gun in tow. After receiving an honorable discharge from the Marine Corps in 1957 and enrolling at Saint Louis University, Gene’s hunting adventures included not only his father but also college buddies. Their destinations included such conservation areas as Duck Creek in southeast Missouri and Fountain Grove in north-central Missouri—places where he fondly remembers the camaraderie among fellow hunters during the blind draws in the wee early morning hours of a chilly fall day. “I remember many a time we’d sleep in sleeping bags in my father’s station wagon and catch a few winks before the blind draw,” Gene recalled. “And sometimes it wasn’t easy finding your blind in the dark. I remember George Brakhage, who managed Duck Creek at the time. He did an outstanding job and was a credit to the department. Those were just great times that I’ll never forget.” During the more than fifty years since, Gene has taken great satisfaction in passing on this part of his heritage—a love of and appreciation for wildlife and the outdoors—to his sons and grandsons. With a desire to give back for, in Gene’s words, “the many wonderful days of fishing and hunting enjoyment for four generations of Tichaceks,” Gene’s family trust made a gift to the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation that funded the Department of Conservation’s construction of two disabled accessible blinds—one a wildlife viewing blind, the other a hunting blind—at Columbia Bottom Conservation Area in St. Louis County. Gene is delighted that this donation has made possible the viewing of wildlife, outdoor photography, and hunting accessible to disabled persons--adults and children alike. “The blinds turned out fantastically,” Gene said. “This gives everyone a chance to enjoy nature and create lifelong outdoor memories.”

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