Good Day Patriots!
This past weekend we hosted our first large group of Heroes Hunters for an Axis deer hunt. Randy, Neft, and Shon are all Veteran brothers of our bestie Derrick Ross. The Heroes came in late Friday night after the graduation ceremonies ended at the Adaptive Training Center.
Saturday, AM after breakfast, we had a little game plan and safety huddle, then headed out to the range to sight everyone in. After sighting in the rifles - and let me tell you, they all can shoot - we headed over to the sporting clay range for a couple of hours, where the hunters and guides competed for some Heroes Ranch knives. While the guides strategized on the night's hunt and blind setup, I took our hunters on a ranch tour and improvement update. From there, we went to town with our group and took over our favorite lunch stop, The Taco Dive, where the locals all thanked our Heroes for their service.
We returned to the ranch for some fishing on Lake Freedom and relaxation time. Around 4:30, the guides and hunters set up in the blinds, where everybody saw lots of game.
Everyone had the instructions: we are after Axis Does without fawns. If you see the Coyote shoot him as he has been avoiding us for over two months, and if you see either of the 2 Axis Cull Bucks, take them too. However, the Whitetails, Fallow, Black Buck Antelopes were all out and hitting the feeders, but we were looking for Axis Does NOT Trophy Bucks, aka our breeder bucks, but they saw those too. Neft (a retired Marine) bagged an Axis Doe the first night, so one for four on day one.
After the sun went down, we headed to the founders' cabin for my specialty, "The Grand Poo-Bahs," smoked tri-tips. While dinner was over, the night wasn't, and the team took to dressing out and skinning Neft's Axis.
To my surprise, Randy called me back to the kitchen, where he, Neft, Shon, and Derrick each presented me with a patch and more that they wore during their military tours. For the first time in my life, I was almost speechless with pride and gratefulness. They shared their personal story of what their gift meant to them personally - where those patches had traveled to and been with them in all the moments of their military careers. I can only guess all the sacrifices they gave for our Country and our Freedom, so having it given to me with their passion and pride was an emotional moment I will never forget.
Sunday morning came early. This time, Randy (a retired Green Beret) harvested the first Axis Doe of the morning. Neft followed him with his second deer. Shon, who has a great beard (a retired Marine), never saw a shootable Axis doe, and Derrick was "Trophy Hunting" for that Coyote.
After the AM hunt, Susan had a surprise for the Heroes – a breakfast of local goose eggs from Celtic Farms to go with sausage and pancakes before loading up and heading out. All enjoyed a good amount of brotherhood and enjoyed the ranch as we closed out our weekend, and our Heroes headed home.
I already miss my new Friends and Brothers and look forward to having them back soon. We couldn't be more thankful for the team that helped host the Heroes this weekend. Thank you to our guides, my wife Susan, who did most of the cooking and much more. Thank you for making this weekend memorable for these Heroes and my new Brothers.
Oh, and a quick update on our not-so-friendly ranch coyote remains at large and is to be considered wily and elusive! If we don't get him soon, you can bet we will be placing a bounty on his head!
Thank you for your support, and to continue in our quest to Help Heroes Hunt, we ask that you consider donating to our cause – 100% of all donations go directly towards Helping Heroes Hunt!
Until next time…