October found the Warrior Bonfire Program taking on new ground in Pierre, South Dakota, Pheasant Hunting! A trip designed with our Wheeled Warriors in mind, paved the way for future endeavors with a superb outfitter. We partnered with Ken Korkow and the Post Traumatic Growth Institute at Ranch Ministries for two days of tackling challenges and knocking down barriers both in and out of the field. We were met with outstanding hospitality and service. Our Purple Hearts were in need of nothing! Big City Coffee out of Boise, Idaho provided all the delicious grub and our guys enjoyed private quarters with caregivers assigned to each. With this amount of support, nothing could stand in our way!
Our founder/pilot/engineer along with his pilot buddies at Southern Heritage Air Foundation were determined to make sure boarding the plane was going to be as smooth as possible for our veterans traveling from down south. The lift we created may not be ADA compliant but it proved to do the job with a few laughs along the way. After making it up to the land of the chilly and pristine fields of gold, we were again met with a new and welcomed obstacle.
Initially our crews of wheeled warriors were “blockers” positioned on the perimeters of the field, and after the first day we were determined to get them more opportunities at the birds by creating the ability to be “walkers” in the field. Anchored into the front end of a Kaboda we were granted special clearance by the SD Wildlife and Fisheries representatives on sight to use a motor vehicle. We could not ask for a better hunting experience. We killed a total of 32 birds in two days of hunting!
Along with the hunt, we have found our groups always love to shoot the big guns or target practice. We had plenty of time to pull some skeet, fire a 50 caliber rifle and a Thompson machine gun! This group did not disappoint as they repeatedly hit their targets at 300 yards away.
All those on the property to assist were veterans. All were working in service to our veterans in need as many of them have found this form of service as their new path post military life. It was a remarkable thing to see and our bonfire was huge in more than one way! Without the help of Ken and his group, these great moments for our vets would have never happened. On the morning of our departure, our exit route was lined with veterans saluting our guys and ending in a celebratory round of pistols firing to the heavens.
We have already scheduled a repeat hunt for next October as we hope to make this one of our annual events but in the meantime, take a look at more of the Pheasant Hunt fun! Click Here