was fortunate to be invited to Tyonek, Alaska, to participate in the OUTDOOR RECREATION HERITAGE FUND for PARALYZED VETERANS OF AMERICA Black Bear Hunt. I cannot thank Doug Warren enough for that opportunity. Upon Arriving at the lodge in Tyonek, Alaska. I was introduced to some great guys who had sacrificed more than their time in SERVICE to Our Country.
It was heartwarming to meet these people and hear their stories. It was emotional to see these guys, some in wheel chairs, some missing limbs, some with limited use of their extremities having a great time, talking hunting, discussing ballistics, and enjoying the wonderful atmosphere and camaraderie of being with people who have the same passions and desires we all shared.
I wish to expressly thank the outfitter who gave so much of his time and effort to ensure that each and every vet had every opportunity to harvest a bear and enjoy the Alaskan environment as much as possible. www.fullcurlalaska.com . The accommodations were great, food was wonderful, and the camaraderie between all the people, (Veterans, wives, guides and staff) was heartwarming. The Wives must be mentioned as they were the troopers in this, they were not only warm and congenial, but were dedicated to their men.
I could not have been around a better group of people. Having served myself I appreciated each and every one of these guys and what they have sacrificed. It should be mentioned that each and everyone of these people have overcome severe handicaps and have dedicated their lives to helping other Warriors who are suffering the same setback, to overcome this major adjustment to their lives, and go forth to become contributing citizens in our country. Thanks to the Outfitter, staff volunteers and Jim Zumbo, I think each and everyone of them did.
I wish to especially thank JIM ZUMBO for graciously attending and sharing not only his stories and experience but a general positive outlook on the subject at hand. I saw in Jim that he was more elated at the success of each and every hunter than he would have been if it had been himself who had taken the bear.
If any of you ever get the opportunity to tag along like I did on one of these hunts, JUMP at the chance, not only was it fun it was also rewarding to see the look on these guys faces when they managed to harvest a bear after months and sometimes years in the hospital recovering from the injuries they suffered in their service to our country.
One gentleman named Tyler walked every step we took and climbed every obstacle we encountered with the aid of an artificial leg. He has a great outlook on life and I am proud to have hunted with him.
Another gentleman named Wayne managed to navigate the terrain and suffer the mosquitoes by the seat of his wheel chair to which he is permanently saddled due to the injuries he received.
Last but not least would be Kyle who has extensive nerve and muscle damage to his body primarily on his right side, however the man was up for it and I am sure he will go forth and accomplish great things. I must say I was not only proud but choked up to meet these people and am honored to be in such worthy company.
I just hope that my humble presence was a help to these HONORED GENTLEMEN who have given so much to us as Americans. Over the week we took many great bears and all of these wonderful wounded warriors took bears thanks to the volunteers and the outfitters hard work preparing for this wonderful hunt.
Please donate to the PVA and say thank you to this wonderful organization with your hard earned dollars. It is through volunteers like Doug Warren, Christina Holden and Jim Zumbo as well as great outfitters who work hard to make hunts like this happen for our wounded warriors.
This story was sent to HuntingLife from Harold Hurst, CEO of
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