Friday, September 21st, we started off our 6th annual deer hunt with our Friday night banquet. There were a lot of people there including hunters, guides, landowners, sponsors, donors and lots and lots of volunteers. This year Roger and his crew had a very nice meal with ham, cheesey potatoes, salad, relish and as always lots of desserts to go around.
Darlene Wise presented each hunter with a quilt she had made out of blue jeans and a fleece backing. The SYC logo was on the center patch of each quilt provided to her from SYC. She is planning on doing this for new hunters from here on out for each hunt, as long as she is able to do it.
Bob “Bart” Bardwell was our special speaker for the night. His daughter Abigail accompanied him. Bob had collector cards with his picture in one of his wheelchair races to give out to all that wanted them. He told about his construction accident and how he persevered to go on to compete in 100 wheelchair marathons. He and his wife have 4 children, which is a miracle also. He has written a book called ‘The Marathons of Life’ and he has also worked on his dream of building a camp. The camp is up and running serving over 22,000 people per year. The camp is Ironwood Springs Christian Camp www.ironwoodsprings.com. Bob and Abigail were a joy to have and to hear his testimony was great.
Next, we got to meet all the hunters and learn who their guides would be. We were happy to have 3 new hunters this season. Johnathan Morris, Nick Basset and Levi Miller. There is a lot of time that goes into getting a hunt underway from start to finish. There are many volunteers involved from getting the hunters set to come, traveling to and from the blinds, getting hunting licenses, planning and preparing meals and lots of misc. We had 13 hunters this year: Levi Miller-Bussy, IA, Megan Hoy-Spencer, IA, Bryce Wiley-Laurens, IA, Nick Basset-Boone, IA, Hunter Horst-Ruthven, IA, Deven Brehmer-Spencer, IA, Dillon Dostil-Toledo, IA, Ryan Assmann-Alta, IA, Nick Dischler-Spencer, IA, Sam Foss-Springfield, MN, Bryan LuRue-Ottumwa, IA, Johanathan Morris-Peachbottom, PA, and Alex Watters-Milford, IA. Nicole Hintz-Milford, IA was not able to join us this hunt. We dearly missed her. I am sure she will be back for the next one.
Saturday, rise and shine comes at 4:45 am at the Somers’ Bunk House. They have a light breakfast and at 5:45, head out to the fields to get set up for the hunt. We had Matt Thede, Matt Strayer and Matt Hoffert from Outreach Outdoors out here with us filming. They have a great love for the outdoors as well as for God. These guys have been on many of our hunts and do lots of filming. Their website is www.outreachoutdoors.com.
At around 10:30 the hunters return for brunch. We had 3 hunters that had gotten their deer. Johanthan Morris-Peachbottom, PA, Bryce Wiley- Laurens, IA, Deven Brehmer-Spencer, IA. We had some happy hunters. Great going guys!
After brunch, Bob Bardwell was our special speaker once again. He told about more of his marathons and then told about how he went about getting his ranch-camp going. He told how God provided him with many volunteers working many, many hours and how some of the materials for the building were donated plus many other details. It is turning out to be a spetacular place. You will have to check it out for yourself at www.ironwoodsprings.com. Bob and Abigail also gave each hunter an autographed copy of his book, ‘The Marathons of Life’. It is so amazing what we can do with God in our lives. With God, all things are possible. ‘I can do all things through Christ who stengthens me’ Philippians 4:13
Next, was rest time for the hunters before they went back out to the fields. At 4:00, the hunters return to the fields. This time, Dillon Dostil-Toledo, IA came back with a deer. Yea Dillon! Supper is served and then the hunters sit around and visit telling all kinds of stories. At 10:00 lights go out.
Sunday, rise and shine comes at 4:45 again and light breakfast and back out to hunt. I think we had a buck come back this time. Nick Basset- Boone, IA comes back with a buck. Oh no, I guess that was a doe. He sure fooled a lot of us, though. Brunch is around 11:00 and we had a church service with Alex Watters, one of your hunters. Alex did a good job. We had special music with Matt Thede from Outreach Outdoors and also Nick Basset, one of our hunters. It was a very nice service.
As we close another hunt, it is always the many many volunteers, landowners, sponsors and donors that make this all possible. Without them, we would not be able to provide this event for these kids. I think the special smiles on their faces and hearing it in their voices tell us all that it is all worth it and God is with us all the way through this. As I said before “With God, all things are possible”.