On September 23 of this year Chuck and Joan Connell, the owners of Tails-A-Waggin Acre’s in Marion, Michigan once again, hosted a 4 day Pheasant Hunt for Veterans. This year they had over 170 Veterans attend the 4 day hunt. The Veterans received 5 birds apiece, a guide with dogs, and a buffet that had some of the best food I have ever tasted. All of this great food was prepared by a group called Veterans Serving Veterans that was all headed up retired fighter pilot and [now]dentist Roger Bandeen of Cadillac Michigan. Roger and fellow dentists also offer free dental work for all Veterans. What a great group of guys. I am so grateful that these guys stepped up to supply all the food for the event free of charge.
On the first day of the hunt, Major R. Briggs of Camp Liberty loaded up a truck with 2 track mobility chairs and delivered them to Tails-A-Waggin for the Vet’s to use.. These are tracked vehicles that slightly resemble wheelchairs (the monster truck of wheelchairs) that that enable disabled hunters to take to the woods and fields so that they may enjoy the great outdoors. I Drove up to join them a few days later to pick up the 2 tracks to bring back to Camp Liberty and got to spend the day with our Veterans. It is always a great time to see how much fun the Veterans have and how they interact with each other telling stories of their time in the service of our country. The Vetern’s, always grasious asked me to give the members of the Southeast Michigan Bowhunters Chapter of SCI a big thank you for once again supporting our Veterans. And as we also protect our right to hunt may we never forget those that gave so much so we can enjoy our great country and the great outdoors.
Rich De Lisle
Editors Note; Rich DeLisle is the President of Camp Liberty and has been one of SCI’s leading supporters of our Veterns and SCI programs to get Vet’s into the outdoors. Rich is a past President of the Southeast Michigan Bowhunters Chapter of SCI and currently sits on the Chapters Board of Directors.
October 5, 2007 young James (Chip) Goline was headed home to change into his hunting clothes, grab his bow and head to the woods when a car went through a stop sign at a high rate of speed and plowed into Chips car resulting in chip being paralyzed from the waist down and also losing the use of his right arm.
Jenny Olsen from Michigan Out Of Doors TV, met Chip and his wife Tracy at one of the many whitetail shows she attends and became good friends. Chip wanted desperately to once again go hunting. For the last couple of years many of Chips friends and Jenny Olsen tried to make the dream of once again being able to hunt deer for Chip happen but, for one reason or another it wouldn't work. That's when Jenny contacted our chapter as she knows we have taken many handicapped hunters on hunts. Jenny and I have worked together in the past on an elk hunt for a disabled veteran that went great. After a long discussion, it was decided that in order for Chip’s hunt to happen it had to be in a controlled situation because of Chip’s limitations. When I approached the board of Southeast Bow about taking Chip on a deer hunt they all agreed to make it happen. Our new President, Don Van De Steene, suggested that we contact Perry Heleski, owner of Muy Grande -Ranch & Resort in Millersberg, Michigan (www.muygranderanch.com). Don was a member there and he knew they would do a great job for Chip. Don contacted Perry and a date was decided on. I called Chip with the news, he was so excited he marked the calendar and could hardly wait to once again pursue his passion of deer hunting.
On October 18, we all met at the beautiful Muy Grande Ranch where about 30 people greeted Chip and his wife Tracy and their 17 year old daughter Jamie. Jenny Olsen had contacted the P.A.T.H. Foundation and borrowed a device called the liberator which would hold Chip’s rifle and allow him to take a clean shot.
A group of us went on the stand that night as it was big enough, with a heater and even a set of bunk beds in it. We were allowed a certain size of buck and wouldn't you know it we saw a 200 class deer and some smaller bucks but, none in the class we wanted. Saturday morning, Sweetest Day, went just as the night before but, with a surprise visit by country star Craig Morgan who took pictures with Chip and his family, which made Chip’s day. That night Perry talked to R.J. (Chip’s guide) into changing stands, it worked out perfect as Chip shot a gorgeous 14 point buck that weighed over 200 lbs. When we brought the deer back to the lodge everyone came out and applauded Chip, it was truly a special moment.
We would like to personally thank all the people who made this possible for such a special man on this special day, sweetest day 2013. Once again SCI Southeast Michigan Bowhunters Chapter was there to support one of our fellow hunters to realize his dream.
Our 18th year doing the State Hunter Apprentice Program (SHAP) was one of the wettest I can remember. The temperatures were in the low 80’s and except for the rain was perfect. This was our 5th year at the Echo Grove Camp ran by our friends at the Salvation Army. As usual, the staff at Echo Grove did everything they could to make our camp run smooth for us and the kids. Brandi and Jr. were our assigned hosts and did a terrific job for us.
On Saturday evening we enjoyed the fantastic Birds of Prey program presented by Joe Rogers and Joann Williams from the Wildlife Recovery Association. The kids and staff were treated to actually seeing and in some cases, touching the birds of prey as they were carried around the room by Joann and Joe. Joann and Joe can be reached by visiting their website (see below). Their Birds of Prey program is a fast-paced, extremely entertaining, first rate educational experience that can be brought into your kids’ school at a very reasonable rate. Contact them anytime to schedule their conservation friendly program for your school at www.wildliferecovery.org
If you look at the faces of the students who attended our SHAP course this year, you will see our next generation of sportsmen and women, new hunters who will carry the word of conservation and our hunting heritage into the future. The small game season opens September 15th state wide and is the perfect time and activity to start a new hunter on their life long hunting journey. The Michigan DNR has set aside the weekend of Sept. 29-30 for special youth deer hunts. Take advantage of the opportunity. You won’t regret it!
The members of our Bowhunter chapter and the Detroit chapter who gave the extra effort to help ensure hunting’s future are: Mark Austin, Rich DeLisle, Mike Clemence, Bob Easterbrook Sr., Bob Easterbrook Jr., John Gornyecz, Jim Martin, Paul McCann, Alex McLean, Bob McLean, Kelly McLean, Kevin Mulkeran, Chet Muraszewski, Valarie Murphy, Troy Sanborn, Bethany Swartz
These SCI members donated a few days of their lives so that 39 youngsters could receive their MDNR Hunter and Bowhunter Education certificates. Some people talk about how much they care about hunting, these guys & gals showed how much they care by giving of their time. On behalf of the kids and our chapter members I say THANK YOU to all of them!!!
Ralph Cagle SCI- SHAP Coordinator