The Chairbound Sportsman Organization of Springville has been arranging hunting and fishing events for the physically handicapped for 10 years and I have covered almost every event they have had since 2017.
On May 23 a turkey hunt took place on a private ranch, the Big Mountain Hunting Ranch in Elberta, for two young people. This hunt was a different and rewarding experience to witness than the other events that I have covered.
The hunt was arranged for 13-year-old Taige, who has a physical disability where she has difficulty walking. She was accompanied by her mother and father and two younger brothers.
Her dad and grandfather are hunters and she has been on family hunting trips.
She was excited to hunt a turkey from an Action Tracker Off-road Wheelchair.
A young man by the name of Spencer who also had a mobility challenge and has had an active life in a wheelchair since age 4.
He was accompanied by his father. Spencer has always just wanted to do what other kids do and he and his father have some remarkable stories about his accomplishments.
He was also excited to use one of the two Action Tracker Off-road wheelchairs provided by the Chairbound Sportsman Organization.
The hunt began with a safety briefing and action plan by the ranch owner, Kelly Prestwich. The turkey hunts were carried out separately with Taige getting her bird first. Spencer, who had five shots in his shotgun, blasted away at a tree a turkey was hiding behind, bringing down several branches before the turkey was brought down.
Each turkey weighed about 30 pounds and Kelly helped the hunters, assisted by family members, dress out the turkeys so the meat could be taken home.
Taige and Spencer were excited to be accomplished hunters. Both participated in the dressing out of the birds and obviously enjoyed the entire afternoon at the Big Mountain Hunting Ranch.
What was really rewarding was to see the loving care and support of the parents of these two young people who wanted the experience of a turkey hunt. It was not just about a turkey hunt; it was about parents with special needs children who have spent years providing special attention to meet the needs and desires of their children. (Helmick is a Serve Daily contributor.)