By Jeremy Henderson, Army Flier Staff WriterOctober 20, 2016
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- The Wiregrass community's support of Fort Rucker Outdoor Recreation's annual Wounded Warrior Fall Hunt provided the resources to add a three-bedroom, handicap accessible cabin to its growing list of wounded warrior-specific equipment for disabled veterans to use at no cost. And this year's event will help support wounded warriors even more.
Hunters will gather Oct. 26 at 4:30 a.m. at the ODR service center, Bldg. 24235, on Johnston Road, to kick off this year's hunt. The hunt, which concludes Oct. 29, will give wounded warriors, as well as Soldiers and civilians, the opportunity to hunt hogs and coyotes to win prizes that will help out a worthy cause, said John Clancy, ODR manager.
"All they need to do is register with us," he said. "The registration fee is $25. The hunt starts at daylight 30 minutes before sunrise and ends at 30 minutes after sunset."
Those who wish to participate in the hunt must be at least 16 years of age with a hunter's education card, Alabama state hunting license, Fort Rucker post hunting permit and have their weapons registered with the Fort Rucker Provost Marshal Office.
According to Clancy, this year's goal will be to accrue funds for a possible second cabin.
"If this cabin is being utilized to the max and we can't keep up with the demand we will possibly look into building a second one," he said.
"It is very important, because we can show wounded warriors that we care and want to provide them with equipment and facilities that will help them enjoy the outdoors," he added.
The community can support the effort by joining the hunt or purchasing tickets to enter into a drawing for several door prizes.
"We will be giving away guns, a bow, crossbows, a Yeti cooler, Yeti-like items, a camouflage reclining chair, a grill and more," Clancy said. "The grand prize will be a Rhino aluminum boat with a 15-horsepower Honda motor and trailer worth $9,739."
Drawing participants do not have to be present at the drawing to win, according to Clancy.
"Just fill out the required information on the ticket," he said. "Don't fold the ticket and please clearly print the information."
People don't have to hunt to contribute to the cause or be eligible for door prizes, said Clancy. People can donate and participate by purchasing door prize tickets for $5 at the outdoor recreation service center at Lake Tholocco, Bldg. 24235, MWR Central in Bldg. 5700, Builders Cash and Carry in Daleville, Joe's Motor Service in Hartford, and the Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Center on Andrews Avenue.
After 2011's hunt, which raised $40,890, Fort Rucker purchased two handicap-accessible elevated tree stands and a track chair, and after 2012's hunt, which raised $35,322, a customized handicap accessible boat with features that include a ramp that allows a person in a wheelchair to directly roll onto the boat, specialized controls, remote control anchor, wheelchair locking system and other specialized features, along with a boat dock, accessories for the track chair and some support equipment for the upcoming hunts were purchased, said Clancy.
In previous years the hunt has raised tens of thousands of dollars to support wounded warriors on Fort Rucker, and that money has gone directly into buying new equipment for those wounded warriors, said Clancy.
All of the proceeds from the Wounded Warrior Hunt will go directly back into outdoor recreation to fund programs or equipment for wounded warriors, he said.
There will be prizes given to the hunter with the most points for hogs and for coyotes -- three points per hog and 15 points per coyote. There also will be door prizes given away to the person holding the winning ticket on the final day of the hunt.
As much as the hunt is about raising funds for new equipment for wounded warriors, Clancy said it's also about raising awareness of the sacrifices those Soldiers made for the freedoms people enjoy today.
For more information or to register, call 255-4305.