Jim Hall Hunts For Warriors Successful

Saturday, December 9, 2017

The annual Jim Hall Hunts for Warriors at Fall Creek Falls State Park took place this week, with 14 veterans participating. This was the fourth year for the veteran’s hunt which formed from a partnership between the state park, Safari Club International (SCI) music city chapter and TWRA.  Many participants were Tennesseans. Some veterans however, came from as far away as New Hampshire. Veterans ranged in age, branch of service and campaigns spanning the past six decades.

 

The hunt started under the super-moon on a warm, December morning. There was a palpable anticipation as veterans, dressed in camouflage were paired with a guide and driven to their hunting blinds for two full days of hunting. Guides consisted of Fall Creek Falls State Park staff and Friends of the Park, SCI and TWRA staff. Cold weather and rain set in the first day of the hunt. The weather didn’t dampen comradery, stories and true friendships that resulted as the men joined together for meals and entertainment around a campfire each evening.

 

VanBuren County Wildlife Officer Kyle Walling has been part of the hunt since its inception. Mr. Walling  saidd, “There’s more than hunting going on at this event. There’s great comradery. This is a way we can give back to our veterans who have given so much to their county.”  Ben Layton, TWRA Region 3 big game biologist said, “Some of these veterans have never hunted before. We hope this event provides another opportunity or even a new hobby for them.”

 

The hunt was supported by many individuals and organizations including Hero Hunt Inc., Friends of Fall Creek Falls State Park, Dead Zero Shooting and Edgefield Prime Meats. Robbie Dodson provided a mount for the hunt. Ralph and Melissa Harmon, owners of The Way Inn provided breakfast sandwiches.  Cleveland State Community College, Wildlife Society Student Chapter volunteered to take deer data and help with processing. Robert Brewer with Cleveland State Community College provided fantastic meals for participants, volunteers and staff. Singer, Tanner Hillis entertained the group. Lastly, retired park maintenance staff, Randall Mealer, donated a hand-made knife to the veteran who harvested the largest deer. SCI, music city chapter, provided door prizes.

 

Veterans harvested five deer. However, success wasn’t measured from the number harvested. Success was measured through the smiles on veteran’s faces, handshakes, laughter and time together. Success was measured through time outdoors, new opportunities and friendship. TWRA is proud to be part of this and all veteran’s events.


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