By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterMarch 22, 2018
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 Warrior Classic Hunt.
This year's hunt will run April 6-8, and will give wounded warriors from all across the South, as well as Soldiers and civilians, the opportunity to hunt turkeys 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, 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 a 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/. People who have trouble registering with the new system should visit ODR.
Following the hunt, a ceremony will be held April 8 at 11 a.m. where prizes will be awarded for the biggest turkey, biggest coyote and most coyotes. Game must be presented to the ODR service center between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
All harvests must be verified by ODR staff and must have been collected on Fort Rucker during legal hunting times. Photos of coyotes or turkeys harvested will not be accepted, and trapping or road kill is not allowed.
Over the years, funds raised through the hunts have provided numerous amenities for wounded warriors, including two hydraulic hunting stands; a track chair; a specially designed, handicap-accessible boat; and a 42-foot, wheelchair-accessible travel trailer. Under construction now is a fully handicap-accessible cabin on East Beach, Lake Tholocco.
Being able to provide for wounded warriors for the sacrifices they've made 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.