We were fortunate enough to be able to attend the US Forestry Service and South Carolina DNR Youth Dove hunt on September 6th. We took 4 participants into the 40 ac. sunflower field, on over 100 ac. of property. It was a hot day but our kids and volunteers had an absolute blast, literally! With all 4 kids in a line, all shooting at the same bird, it sounded like WWIII popping off. And the birds must have had 9 lives, because numerous birds were able to dodge the the 12 7-shot shells that were being hurled through the air from the 20-Ga and 12-Ga shotguns. They each were able to harvest a dove, all of them for the first time! They then were taught how to field dress their bounty in a feathery mess! Thanks to our parent volunteers and Eddie S. for donating his time and a 100 ct box of 20-Ga shells for the day's event.
We were invited by Justin W and the Collision Student Ministries from the Pointe Church in Belmont, NC to participate in their annual summer lake day. We had an absolute blast hurling 15 students through the air off of the banana tube pulled by the 21' Yamaha Jet boat. We spent 4 hours on Lake Wylie in North Carolina on a hot July Sunday after church buzzing around in circles towing tandem riders on the innertube. We filmed the madness from a central boat, and cant wait to complete the video of all the students having a great time. We look forward to participating next year!
Kaleb was the recipient of the summer bass fishing trip. As we made our way up to Mountain Island lake boat dock in Charlotte, NC, the sky decided to unload buckets of water on us. We checked the radar and it appeared to be a fast moving cell of storms with sunny skys behind it. We delayed launching the boats 30 minutes, and what a great decision we made to continue with the excursion. The heavens cleared and made a beautiful day on the water for us. We began with Kaleb using a Zebco reel, a bobber and some worms. We caugth several Blugill and White Perch. He was a very fast learner and had no fear pinching worms and baiting his hooks. We trolled along several banks, in coves, and fallen trees, catching smaller sized fish. He was having a blast, selecting his bait..."the chosen one" as he giggled and laughed all evening. We took a break for a "noodling" show and then headed up-river as the sun was setting, in search of some large-mouth bass. In no time, he was casting buzz baits, crank baits and ZOOM worms like a pro! We caught several more fish and bass with the artificial lures. It it safe to say, he was a "natural." We closed the evening with a spin on the camera boat (the Yamaha wakeboard jet-boat) blistering across the lake...screaming the whole time! It was an amazing day with an amazing kid!
Our first recipient of our first excursion was Cameron S. He was selected for the 2014 North Carolina Youth Turkey
Hunting Season opener, and was elated to have the opportunity. He had never been hunting before this weekend. We met Cameron on Wednesday, and took him shopping to the local sporting goods store to
purchase him some camouflage clothing and his big game harvest tag. On opening day, we met him and our hunt sponsor at 6am for some breakfast and a briefing on the coming activities for the day. We
entered the woods just as the sky began to turn from orange to blue. Our hunt sponsor Josh hiked us to an open field with several small patches of trees. There we set up in a patch and he started
calling for the birds. Immediately a hen started clucking back to his calls. We listened to her for around 20 minutes, and then we heard it. The joyous sound of a tom permeated the woods we sat in.
Shortly after hearing the gobble, we caught a glimpse of the most beautiful bird that Cameron has ever seen. A little over 120 yards away out of the wood line emerged a fully strutting tom hot on the
trail of the hen that was challenging our purrs, clucks, and cutts. From there we witnessed something our sponsor had never seen in over 13 years of turkey hunting. As the hen laid on the ground 80
yards away from us, the tom strutted and gobbled his way to her, and began to mate her. Five minutes passed and then our sponsor began to purr and cluck with his slate call, catching the attention of
Like out of a scripted movie, the tom turned and began a bee-line strut and gobble directly towards our hen decoy. As he approached, I instructed Cameron to get his 20 gauge shotgun ready. As the turkey made his way into shooting range, I instructed Cameron to control his breathing, take the gun off of safety and aim at the turkey’s head, just as we had practiced at the decoy in the field earlier. Cameron’s nerves got the best of him, as he shouldered the gun. I whispered to Cameron, “when he gobbles and sticks his neck and head out again, you shoot.” I started whispering “shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, SHHHOOOOT!”, and Cameron exclaimed “I can’t get my pins to line up on him!” Re-adjusting his grip and aim, Cameron squeezed the trigger of the shotgun, and the once pounding heartbeat in my ears was interrupted with a “BOOOOOM.” The tom made an about-face, tucked in his feathers, and shot like a rocket back into the wood line. As he disappeared into the woods, it was the last time we saw that beautiful 9” bearded tom. Unfortunately Cameron missed with his shot at the bird. We gathered our spirits and gear and hiked a half-mile up a gas line, and prepared another set. After a 2 hour sit, we gathered our guns and decoys, and headed for the truck. Cameron wasn’t able to harvest a turkey during his Sportsmans Wish Foundation, Inc. dream hunt, but he did harvest a desire to encounter more of what nature has to offer: freedom for our mind, body, and souls.
We had plenty of hotdogs left over from the fundraiser, so what better way to use this extra food than to give it to the people who need it most. We had over 160 hotdogs still to cook, so we re-upped the number back to 240, and with the help of Pastor Ray Hardee, Forest Pointe Church, and As One Ministries, we were able to feed over 100 homeless and disadvantanged men, women and children on Saturday for lunch. We were truely blessed and honored to impact our community, and received countless "thank you's" from the people we served. It was just another way we were able to give back, as we have been blessed beyond measure as SWF continues to grow.
Our First ever cookout fundraiser was a HUGE success. Words cannot express our gratitude to our family, friends, and the community who came out to support us. We are blessed beyond measure, and are energized more by the "power of caring" and encouragement that was given to us at Sportmans Wish. A very special "Thank You" to our families that have donated time and treasures to make this sportman's dream come true for us and as well as all the lives we will change from now until forever. Below are some pictures from the event.
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Sportsmans Wish Foundation
PO Box 39344
Charlotte, NC 28278
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