Lance Rider, TWRA Representative, and Ed Carter, Executive Director of the TWRA, display this year’s Operation Outreach shirts that were given to all attendees.
The Tennessee State NWTF Wheelin’ Sportsmen, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, and the Forked Deer NWTF Chapter hosted the third annual wounded veterans turkey hunt on March 15-17 on the Milan Arsenal grounds. This year’s event, called Operation Outreach, hosted 19 wounded-while-on-duty service men and women.
NWTF volunteers, Shane and Melissa Hall, members of the Forked Deer Chapter, donate countless hours coordinating this and other Wheelin’ Sportsmen events. If you see this uniquely painted trailer on the road, know they are on a worthwhile mission to help disabled hunters, anglers, or veterans.
Each vet/hunter was assigned a local guide and given the opportunity to take two wild turkeys of either sex. This special two-day season was made possible by the Tennessee Wildlife Federation Agency. A total of 12 turkeys were tagged including this very large gobbler that weighed close to 26 lbs.
NWTF Wheelin’ Sportsmen National Coordinator, Randy Green, has traveled from the NWTF headquarters in Edgefield, SC, every spring to attend each of these special events.
Meals were a highlight of the weekend and with obvious reason. Sam Gregory and his culinary posse, members of the Forked Deer Chapter, put out some finger-licking vittles in mass proportions.
While the hunters were out hunting tasty samples were being passed around back at base camp behind the kitchen.
NWTF volunteers from across the state pitched in to make sure everyone was well fed.
Tennessee State Chapter Board member, Tim Agee, State Wheelin’ Sportsmen coordinator, Shane Hall, as well as Mr. and Mrs. Mark Jackson, NWTF Regional Director, find a few minutes to visit during the event.
It takes a lot of time and effort from many organizations, agencies, and individuals to host a special wounded veteran outdoor event. However, this is one small way the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the entire hunting/ fishing/ shooting community can say “Thank You” for the service and the sacrifices our military is giving for our continued freedom.