Veterans and hunting guides from around the state gathered this weekend for the Black Hills Veterans’ Day White Tail Hunt, an opportunity for disabled veterans to experience the deer hunting Crook County has to offer.
The event, the first of its kind in this county, was held courtesy of Hunting with Heroes, a nonprofit organization that gives back to Wyoming’s disabled veterans by providing them with outdoor experiences such as hunting and fishing.
On Thursday, the veterans from as far afield as Casper and Cheyenne gathered at the Longhorn Saloon to meet the guides who had volunteered to assist them on the next day’s hunt, some of whom were local and others from Gillette. The hunting group included Mike Bradford, Dennis Fish, Derrick Dietz, Kayla Crawford, Cameron Foster and Stephen Brinkley.
Guiding them were Bill Pridgeon, Tyler Abbott, Tom Norby, Jeff Smith, Susie Rose, Beth McCollum, Joe Poitra, Nate Nielson and Brian Jensen.
Landowners from around Crook County also attended the soiree to spend time with the veterans who would be taking advantage of access to their property for the hunt. Those families included the Wagners, Zimmerschieds, McCollums, Roses and Seven J Outfitters, while Richard and Gloria Milanowski also assisted with the event.
Founder Dan Currah was also on hand to greet the arrivals and introduce the hunters to their guides.
Through its partnership with Wyoming Game & Fish, Hunting with Heroes provided deer licenses for the veterans through the big game donated license program, which allows anyone to donate a license to be re-issued to a disabled veteran. After a successful day, the group met at the Longhorn again the following evening to share good food, cheerful company and tales of the day’s events.
“We’re already starting to plan next year’s Black Hills Veteran’s Day White Tail Hunt,” smiles Currah.