Individuals with various disabilities who may not normally get to hunt otherwise were given the chance after the Halifax Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation and Virginia Wheelin’ Sportsman partnered for the 16th annual Wheelin’ Sportsman deer hunt at Staunton River State Park on Saturday.
Hunters making the trip included Lawrence Butch of Sandy View, Paul Moody of Clarksville, James McKinney of Evington, Jim Padgett of Galax, Chris Ratcliff of Danville, Dan Sanford of Hampton and Jason Scruffs of Evington.
“It’s a good opportunity to get people who have served this country and have been injured to be able to still be able to enjoy the outdoors,” said Keith Morrison of the Department of Conservation and Recreation.
Hunters arrived around 5 a.m., and after a safety briefing, they drew their morning stands and headed for the woods before coming in for lunch.
Volunteers helped with the deer hunt hosted at Staunton River State Park by the Halifax Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation and Department of Conservation and Recreation park staff.
The Daughters of the American Revolution provided cookies, and Sheriff Fred S. Clark donated barbecue and fixings. Jerry Weadon cooked stew for lunch as well.
When the hunters came in for lunch, no deer had been bagged, but they were enjoying the day nonetheless.
“It’s been lovely. Not a bad morning. Hope to get to see something this afternoon,” said Moody with a smile on his face. “It’s just the thing of being outdoors.”
This was the first year Moody had been able to attend the event, and he was glad he did.
He had met Bug Gauldin and another one of the guys at Occoneechee State Park, and being that he spends time hunting on his own property he was glad to be able to share this past time with them.
“Everyone here has overcome a whole lot, and I enjoy being with these guys. I’m glad they’re doing this event,” said Moody.
After lunch, the guys headed back to the woods for an afternoon hunt, and Padgett was able to harvest a deer, according to Robert Moody of the Staunton-Meherrin Chapter of the National Wildlife Turkey Federation.
He also wanted to remind the public the Halifax Chapter of the National Wildlife Turkey Federation will host its annual Hunting Heritage Banquet at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 8 at the South Boston Fire Support building.