Well it may not be the biggest 8 point you've ever seen but to 16 year old Mark Golden it's a MONSTER. Mark called me that night from Wild Rose Wisconsin where he went on an Outdoor Wish hunt at Back Achers Ranch through Benefit4Kids. Mark has numerous medical problems and although at 16 he is only a little over 4' tall and weighs only 60 lbs. he has the heart of a lion and a wonderful sense of humor and attitude. His love for the outdoors could not be stronger if he were 7' tall and built like an ox.
Mark took this great buck at 30 yards with a perfect heart/lung shot from his .50 cal. muzzleloader with his Mom sitting next to him in the blind. Although not what most would consider "an outdoors woman" Mark's Mom works hard to make sure he has every opportunity to spend time doing what he loves to do, hunt and has sat with him several times hunting in the past.
Mark's hunt was the first of 7 current "Outdoor Wishes" that Benefit4Kids has been able to put together so far this year because of the many generous people who have supported Benefit4Kids over the years. Soon other kids and their families will spend some great time together creating memories of hunting hogs, whitetails, fallow deer and fishing for salmon and steelhead this fall because others dug deep to help them out. My thanks to all of you for helping to make Mark's and all of the other kids dreams come true.
A special thanks goes out to Dan and Bev Schuman who generously donated the hunt for Mark on their ranch and to Brigid O’Donoghue of BIO-Tec Research for everything she has done to help not only Benefit4Kids but many other kids in need. They are all very special people and the outdoor world is a much better place because of them.
Mark’s Hunt was donated by Dan and Bev Schuman at Back Achers Ranch in Wisconsin.
Mark’s mount has been donated by the Huron Point Sportsman’s Association’s Heritage Days Fund.
Mark’s travel expenses and meat processing were paid for by Benefit4Kids.
13- year old Lane Duckworth from Battle Creek, MI. warmed up with a Whitetail hunt with her Dad in the fall of 2004 and in Fall of 2005 will be going on her Outdoor Wish to hunt bears in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Lane suffered severe burns over 80% of her body when she was 6 years old. Today she still faces numerous surgeries but always has a smile on her face. Her courage continues to be an inspiration to us all.
Lane and her family are on headed to the U.P. with Michigan Bow hunter District 4 Rick Kearney. Rick has been making many trips up to his Bear hunting grounds baiting and getting ready for Lane to have a great memory of her Wish! From Reports Rick has been giving us, things are looking good and baits are getting tore up, so hopefully Lane will be using her crossbow this weekend to harvest her bear!
Rick Kearney who took Lane on her bear hunt and although Lane wasn't able to harvest a bear on this trip, I know she had one heck of an experience and good time with Rick!
Here's Rick's email about the experience.
We had a great trip. Lane and her dad were a joy to have in camp and I have invited them back to hunt with us in 2 or 3 years when we can draw tags again and they accepted.
Lane hunted hard, a lot of people I know could take lessons from her about effort and dedication. Even though she didn't get a shot at the one bear that she did see we couldn't get her to change baits. We had a couple of other baits not being hunted that were being hit but she wanted to stay on hers. Ask her about her "pet porcupine".
When saying grace before the meals she started out the week asking for a big bear and ended the week asking for a bear, any bear. Lane wanted to go on a trailing job and one of the other people in camp obliged her. Melanie Hicks, a friend of mine who was hunting with her husband Ron, hit a bear but the video replay showed a high shoulder hit. We spent about 8 hours on the track with Lane leading the way most of the time. She did find a shed antler while on the track. The bear was not found. However, I got a phone call about 10:30 last night, Ron & Melanie had stayed up hunting, and that same bear had come back in and she got it. It was a 200# dry sow. I called Tom and Lane to let them know.
I really enjoyed the week and figure that I was blessed to be able to participate. I would be willing to do something like this again in the future. Perhaps a deer or small game hunt. Lane is absolutely deadly with that crossbow and did take a partridge with it that strolled by her bait.
Speaking to Tom after we got back he told me of an interesting conversation that he had on their way home. They had stopped in St. Jacques to gas up and he started talking with another hunter that had a bow-hunting sticker on his truck. Seems he was up bear hunting with his kids and also has a daughter with challenges that hunts with a crossbow as well. Tom told them about B4K and how you work so expect a call.
Lane kept notes on her hunt as a class project. The bait that she was hunting sat off of a large cranberry bog and had been referred to as Paved Trail 1. We renamed it Cranberry Lane and changed the designation in our camp log.
Once again let me say thanks for allowing me to be part of what you do.
Thank you Rick for working your butt off to try and get Lane a bear, but I know she had a great time even though she didn't get a shoot a bear! Your right Lane is a very special young lady and many people could learn a lot from her!
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