Department of Veterans Affairs
Department of Veterans Affairs.I would like to thank you for the support you have shown to the Veterans who participated in this years (Bord Gulch) near Craig, Colorado. This year we had one Vietnam and one Iraqi Veteran. The Vietnam Vet had never been Antelope hunting before and has some major medical problems that prevent him from elk and deer hunting at higher elevations. He told me after the hunt it was a dream to be able to go antelope hunting and get a buck. He did not know if he would ever be able to hunt again and you helped to fulfill his dream. The Iraqi Veteran has never been hunting before, in fact he did not have his Hunters Safety Card until about a week prior to the hunt. He was very excited to be able to participate in the hunt. He stated he wanted to try some new recreation programs since getting out of the military. Both veterans told me this was a chance in a lifetime and will remember this forever.SCI has supported the Veterans for the past six years on this antelope hunt. I appreciate everything you have done for the Veterans and I know they do. These Veterans who have been allowed to hunt on this property have all came away feeling like they were treated like royalty.The Veterans Hunt Program has impacted over 57 veterans over the past seven years. The goal of the program is to get veterans who have not hunted since becoming disabled or veterans who have hunted for a long time or ever the chance to participate in an outdoor activity that they can pursue on their own or with some assistance. You have demonstrated dedication, compassion, teaching about hunting, etc. to the veterans who have been on your hunts. VAMC and I really appreciate all you have done for veterans in the past six years. I was very sad to know that Tom had passed away, I was shocked when I heard this and I wish I could thank him once again for giving the Veterans a chance of a lifetime. I am always looking forward to next year to bring a couple Veterans up to Bord Gulch Ranch.Thank You,Matt Lucas Supervisor, Recreation Therapy
C-Punch and Yampa Valley Chapter
The C-Punch Ranch and the local chapter teams up with the Division of Wildlife, and local chapter lends a helping hand to help the disabled vets get a chance to harvest an elk. The event went real well. The event was held on October 5th. Volunteers from the Moffat County Sheriff's office was on hand to help make it a success harvest.
Craig Daily Press Thursday June 20,2013
Colorado Parks and Wildlife would like to sincerely thank the following sponsors of the 3rd Annual Family Cast and Blast: Wyman Museum, Northwest Colorado Outfitters Association, Yampa Valley Chapter of Safari Club International and Brotherís Custom Meats.The event included shooting and fishing sports in a family atmosphere with a barbecue lunch. There were more than 50 participants shooting for the first time.Thanks again for the support! Mike Swaro District Wildlife Manager, Maybell
A Dream Came True
Well another dream came through with the Generosity of SCI. Words can never say howI feel but that was a dream hunt that I had dreamed about for years. Every person whom was involved in putting that hunt together needs to be thanked. For your organization, to the ranch owners, to the ranch management, to the best guide ever what patients he showed and encouragement. I had put that gun in the back of my gun cabinet for after I lost my arm I wanted to remember that gun as the gun I shot my elk with. I also was very nervous on shooting it for it kicks like 10 mules. But I took it to the sighting in that Matt put on and I only shot it twice. When I shot it with this neck problem I would get these numb feelings.
Well Matt encouraged me to go ahead and shoot it. Even though it racked my body with every shot it also brought back lots of good memories. When I was excepted by the V A, I got nervous that I was not going to be able to shoot long distances. For we sited the guns in at 100 yards and I'am attempting to shoot 300 plus. But your guide Leland calmed my nerves and gave me a shot where I would hit or miss.
We hunted hard and came up shooting a very nice buck. Leland and Ray have told me that is the largest buck taken so far on that ranch. I am still pumped and think about it almost everyday. Thanks to SCI Yampa Valley Chapter for making a veterans dream come true, may God truly bless this organization for empowering each of us. Also thanks for lunch it was so much fun to set around and laughed.Brad Hudson
Disabled Hunting for Disabled Vets 2012
Bord Gulch,the Yampa Valley Chapter along with the volunteers took disable vets hunting on private land. Veterans antelope took place west of Craig on the Bord Gulch Ranch owned by Tom Gillian. There were two Veterans (Brad and Josh) who were accepted on this hunt. Brad is an above the elbow amputee and Josh has service connection for his neck. Both veterans have never been antelope hunting and one had not been hunting in a long time.
This year Karl Huntsman (SCI President), Ray Owens (Ranch Manager) and I coordinated the hunt. The hunt was going to take place on 10/9-10, we were to meet at the hotel at noon, call Ray to meet up with him to get the license and then go out to the ranch for an evening hunt. Karl got the rooms donated for the Veterans at the Holiday Inn. I called Karl to let him know we had made it to the hotel.
Ranch manager (Ray Owens) and the SCI-Yampa Valley Chapter go above and beyond what is expected of them to make sure the veterans have a quality hunting experience. Mr. Gilliland donated the landowner vouchers (which he could sale for around $3500 each). Ray guides the hunters, helps the veteran pick out a buck antelope, and cleans/guts antelope. The SCI arranged for the hotel accommodations ($150), processing ($150 each), and taxidermy ($600 each) at no cost to the veterans. Leland Reiner and Tom McCardy (volunteer for the ranch) also helped guide the veterans.
The Veterans and I met the Ray at 2:00 to get the licenses and Ray said he wanted to take the Veterans out to the ranch for an evening hunt. I contacted Karl and he could not go, so it was Leland, Brad and me in one truck, Ray, Tom M. and Josh in the other truck. We drove around seeing a lot of antelope but we were looking for a nice buck. We saw a group of antelope and there was a nice buck in there so we put a stalk on them only they saw us to so they took off. Josh found a nice buck antelope got setup and shot it. He was very excited to get his first antelope. Josh gutted the animal out with some assistance from Ray and Tom. Josh was very appreciative. We went back to the hotel as the sun was going down, got a bite to eat and then were meeting everybody at Lelandís in the morning.
When we got to the ranch property we saw a real nice buck so we decided how we were going to stalk the animal. Brad, Leland and I took off on foot while the others watched from the road. We walked probably 2 miles before Brad could get a shot, he took his time and made the shot. He was so excited and relieved. He told me he had not made a long shot like that since he lost his arm. He said that gave him more confidence to shoot at 300 yards. Ray, Karl, Tom and Josh all came over after the buck was down to congratulate Brad.
Both Veterans had a great time and learned how to hunt antelope. The VAMC and I want to thank the landowner, ranch manager, SCI, and volunteers for going above and beyond what is expected of them. This program allows Veterans who have not hunted or who have not hunted in a long time the opportunity to hunt antelope on a great piece of property. This is a quality hunt and the dedication of the people involved is awesome. All of you have helped to improve the lives of the veterans, show the veteran they can still hunt despite their disabilities and introduce hunting as a positive recreation activity they can participate in the rest of their lives.
Supervisor, Recreation Therapy
Disabled Vets Hunting
Disable Vets Hunting 2011 Disabled Veterans Antelope Hunt took place west of Craig on the Bord Gulsh Ranch owned by Tom Gillian. There were two OIF/OEF (Jesse and Jared) veterans who was accepted on this hunt. Both veterans has never been Antelope Hunting and one had never been hunting before in his life, in fact he did not even have his hunters safety until 3 weeks ago.
This year Karl Huntsman(SCI President),(Ray Owens-Ranch Manager)and I coordinated the hunt. The hunt was going to take place on 10/2-3, we were to meet at the hotel at noon and then meet Ray at 2:00 at the ranch.
The landowner(Tom Gillian), ranch manager (Ray Owens) and SCI-Yampa Valley Chapter go above and beyond what is expected of them to make sure the veterans have a quality hunting experience. Mr. Gilligan donated the landowner vouchers (which he could sell for around $ 3,500.00 each).Ray guides the hunters, helps the veteran pick out a buck antelope, and field dress.
The SCI provided a volunteer (Ken) to be on the hunt along with arranging a hotel accommodations ($ 150.00 each), processing ($150.00), taxidermy ($ 600.00 each) at no cost to the veterans and gave both veterans a $ 250.00 gift card to help the veterans take care of their expenses (license, fuel, food, etc.)
Tom Mc Carthy ( volunteer for the ranch ) also helped guide the veterans.
The veterans and I met the others at 2:00 at the ranch.
Ray and Tom M. wanted to take the veterans in their truck. I" rode with Tom G., his wife and Ken.
We drove around seeing a lot of antelope. We found a buck by himself and Jesse liked it, so Jesse go setup, took the shot, the buck went down.
He was very excited to get his first antelope.
Ray showed Jesse how to field dress and we put it in the truck and were ready to go find a buck for Jared.
We drove around for a couple hours seeding lots of antelope and deer. The antelope did not give us a shot, even though we saw some really niece bucks. We went on the other side of the ranch and found more antelope.
Ray stopped the truck just before a hill, Jared, Tom and Ray walked up.
I saw them put the shooting sticks down and Jared got set up.
I could only see the three of them, but could not see the antelope. I did not want to run up the hill in fear I would scare the antelope.
Jared took the shot and I knews when Tom and Ray patting Jared on the back he harvested the buck.
I ran up the hill, Jared was shaking with excitement and he gave me a hug. We walked down to the buck and he was so excited he did not know what to say, Ray showed Jared how to field dress the buck.
We walked down to the buck and he was so excited he did not know what to say.
We took pictures with both bucks and the entire group.
We went back to where we originally met, got the truck and headed for the processing plant.
On the way back to Craig both veterans kept telling me how much they appreciated having the opportunity to do this hunt.
We got to the processing plant (AGP), and met Karl (SCI President), he asked them how they wanted their meat processed. ($150.00 each).
Scott (Mountain Man taxidermy) the taxidermist said he would donate the amounts for the mounts for the veterans ($575.00 each).
Jared and Jesse were just disbelief of how well they were being treated by everybody involved. They told everybody thank you for all they did.
Karl wanted to take us out to eat so we went to the golf coarse to eat. The funny thing is everybody ordered the same thing (chicken fried steak). After dinner Jesse and Jared said Karl gave each of them a $250.00 VISA gift card for their expenses. They were not expecting this and were just in amazement.
On the way back to the hotel Jesse and Jared told me how much fun and how much they appreciated getting to come on this hunt.
Jared told me he did not know how to express how he felt other than "WOW".
I told him that was funny because my old boss (Sandy Trombetta) and I said we need to provide activities / services to the veterans. "WOW".
This hunt truly did that for these veterans. The veterans said the only thing they would like to be able to hunt some more, and they laughed.
I want to thank all the people involved with this hunt- Tom G., Tom M., Karl, Ken, Scott, AGP and Lee at the Hampton Inn, without all of you this would not have been possible.
I would like also to thank Leland and Jeni Reinier. Three years ago Leland called me to see if the VA would be interested in doing a veterans buck antelope hunt for some veterans. All of you have helped to improve the lives of the veterans, show the veteran they can still hunt despite there disabilities and introduce hunting as a positive recreation activity they can participate in the rest of their lives.
Matt Lucas Supervisor, Recreation Therapy