By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterSeptember 14, 2017
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- From track chairs to travel trailers to motor boats, Fort Rucker Outdoor Recreation for years has worked to ensure wounded warriors aren't left out when it comes to outdoor recreation, and that tradition continues with the 2017 Wounded Warrior Fall Hunt.
This year's hunt will run Oct. 4-7, and will give wounded warriors from all across the South, as well as Soldiers and civilians, the opportunity to hunt wild hogs and coyotes on the installation to win prizes while helping out a worthy cause, said John Clancy, ODR manager.
"This is about camaraderie, and giving wounded warriors an opportunity to open up around other people and meet new faces," he said." A lot of times, they don't get out of the house much, so this gives them the chance to do so."
The hunt is open to the public and registration is $25, but people can also volunteer their time to hunt with or spend time with wounded warriors during the hunt at no cost, said Clancy.
Hunters who wish to participate must be at least 16 years of age, have completed the hunter's education course, have an Alabama state hunting license, as well as Fort Rucker post hunting permit. Hunters are also required to have their weapons registered with the Fort Rucker Provost Marshal Office.
In order to obtain the necessary requirements to hunt on post, participants must be registered with the new iSportsman service by visiting https://fortrucker.isportsman.net/, or visiting ODR if they need help registering with the new system.
Through the system, people can obtain all the necessary requirements needed to hunt on post, including their state hunting license, hunter's education card and post permit, but hunters must still visit ODR to get their permits verified, said Clancy.
"We will help them establish their accounts and get their usernames all started, and they can do that all here at ODR," he said. "They will do all the purchasing online, but they must have it validated here at ODR and we'll print out their permit for them after they're validated."
Following the hunt, a ceremony will be held where prizes will be awarded for biggest and most of each game, door prizes will also be given out, as well, and people don't need to participate in the hunt to be eligible. Tickets for door prizes can be purchased for $5 at ODR, MWR Central and any participating businesses sponsoring the hunt. Prizes can include coolers, hunting equipment, jewelry and even a boat.
Proceeds from the ticket sales always go toward providing some sort of handicap accessible equipment or facility for wounded warriors, and this year's proceeds will go toward funding a three-bedroom, handicap accessible cabin that will be available for use by wounded warriors at no cost to them.
"The cabin will be completely handicap accessible," said Clancy. "All of the rooms and bathrooms will be wheelchair accessible with ramps, so it's all designed for anybody who sits in a wheelchair."
Over the years, funds raised through the hunt have provided numerous amenities for wounded warriors, including two hydraulic hunting stands; track chairs; a specially designed, handicap-accessible boat; and a 42-foot, wheelchair accessible travel trailer.
Being able to provide for the wounded warriors for the sacrifices they've given in service to their country is the reason Clancy said the hunt is necessary.
"Oftentimes when [these Soldiers] go through [their traumatic experience], they feel like they're going through it alone, and something like this can help them break out of their shell," said the ODR manager. "They realize that we have their backs. They're not different, so we really just want to bring everybody back to the norm."
For more information, visit ODR or call 255-4305.