Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 19

RM

| OUTDOORS

Above left: Three generations of the Brown family - Walter, Sam and Wade - shared the blind when Sam shot his spike. Above right: Adaptive equipment allows disabled
hunters to safely shoot modified firearms from an accessible blind. Some equipment was purchased through a 2015 Operation Round Up grant from Webster Electric Cooperative.

Shoot'n 4 Dreams

Nonprofit helps disabled hunters make wishes come true

D

by Zach Smith | zsmith@ruralmissouri.coop

"The last time we were able to hunt I had to sit him in my lap and help hold
the gun," Wade says. "This puts it back in his hands and that's what's cool,
eer season: It's a yearly tradition many hunters - child and adult being able to see him do it again."
The Ozarks' hunting community - from Bass Pro Shops to local procesalike - look forward to, but few anticipated this fall the same way
sors, taxidermists, outfitters and artisans - has rallied around the Shoot'n
Sam Brown or Craig Logan did.
For seven years and 27 hunts just like this one, Craig, his family 4 Dreams cause. Before the family and guide Davey Boyd can head out to
and less than a dozen volunteers - collectively known as Shoot'n 4 Dreams the blind, Davey and Craig load Sam down with new hunting gear including
- have given their time, shared their knowledge and passed on their passion a handmade whitetail call.
to disabled youth.
"Well we've got your camo and orange, your deer call and your arrowhead
This is a special season for 17-year-old Sam, because
necklace - now you just need to get a deer," Craig says.
"I'm ready," Sam replies with a smile.
it's the first time he, his dad, Wade, and grandfather,
Walter, who all hail from central Oklahoma, have hunted
He doesn't have to wait very long to prove it, either. While the first
together. Three generations shared the deer blind in Rogersevening passes slowly, late the next morning Sam bags a spike. Amid
ville, and there are more than a few tears and smiles because
congratulations, Davey follows a Shoot'n 4 Dreams tradition and
wipes a finger full of blood across the teenager's brow and cheeks. A
they never guessed they'd be here together at all.
memory has been made, the moment fulfilled.
When Sam was 8, he was diagnosed with Friedreich's atax"I would love to mount that in his room so if he's having a bad
ia, or FA. Wade describes the rare neuromuscular disease as
Rogersville
day for any reason, he looks up and sees that deer," Craig says.
having similar symptoms to ALS. While most people with FA
"If that puts a smile on his face and raises his family's spirits, we
do not live beyond their early 20s, his father says, Sam stays
in good spirits.
did our job."
The effects of this time spent in the woods are obvious while watching
Craig intends to keep things that way. His nonprofit's goal is to give every
child with an illness or disability the chance to make their hunting dreams videos of past hunts. As the shouts of a young man who has just bagged his
come true. That pursuit is made even more special because for many of these first gobbler or the tears of his mother sitting next to him attest, there's more
to these moments than a successful shot. According to guide "Big" John Adyoung people, some trips are both their first and last in the outdoors.
"If it gives that one opportunity to live another day, to fight another day, ams, they administer a little bit of medicine for the soul to everyone involved.
"My relationship with God really comes on in the woods or on the creek,"
why should we deny it?" Craig, a Webster Electric Cooperative member, says.
"There are miracles to be made, and I want those miracles mind over matter." John says. "We value that, so if that's the value we put on it, that's how we
Shoot'n 4 Dreams runs shooting programs at Camp Barnabas in Purdy and give it. If I've got this appreciation for the natural world and I love to do this,
the Day at the Range hosted by Southwest Center for Independent Living and then I'd love to pass it on down the line."
Even though knowledge of the program is growing - Shoot'n 4 Dreams has
the Missouri Department of Conservation. It was at camp, where Wade and
his wife, Annie, volunteer, that Sam met Craig. A few rounds of ammo later six hunters this fall - Craig knows there are still people slipping through the
cracks. He and John recall a teenager who passed away before they could get
and the teen's desire to get back in the deer woods was sparked.
Whereas the original apparatus would bolt a gun to plates on the shooter's him into a deer or turkey blind. The loss weighs heavily on these men who
wheelchair, Craig likens the new setup to a video game. The Ruger .270 is have served both as guides and pallbearers for other young friends made
mounted to a separate frame, and a scope camera connects to a monitor. A afield. The experience has etched itself on Craig in the form of a mission: He
joystick allows hunters with limited dexterity to aim, and two buttons act as hopes to be able to make an exception to current state conservation regulaa safety and trigger. Even paralyzed hunters can use bite or suction tubes to tions so that terminally ill sportsmen and women don't have to wait for regular seasons to go hunting.
fire the gun. No one is left outside the circle.
"We need to be able to do this on their time," Craig says. "There's no state
"We don't focus on their disabilities, we focus on their abilities," Craig says.
"That's the key to this. Each hunter may need things just a touch different." that I know of that has this type of program. We're the Show-Me State, so let's
The adaptive technology caught Wade's attention - Sam's condition has show them it can be done. It needs to be done."
progressed to the point where he can no longer shoulder a gun and the recoil
For more information on Shoot'n 4 Dreams, follow them on Facebook at www.
is a little harder on him. But it was the group's approach that convinced him
facebook.com/Shootnfordreams/or call Craig Logan at 417-753-5606.
that his son's dream wasn't out of reach. In fact, it could become reality.

NOVEMBER 2017 | RURALMISSOURI.COOP

19


http://www.facebook.com/Shootnfordreams/ http://www.facebook.com/Shootnfordreams/ http://www.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - November 2017

Rural Missouri - November 2017 - Intro
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 3
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 4
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Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 6
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Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 38
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - Cover4
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