Curtis Dugger (Deer)
I just want to say thank you for the opportunity to hunt with Wyoming Disabled Hunters. It really was a hunt of a lifetime. I submitted my application to hunt antelope, deer or elk. I am a Wyoming resident and have not been able to hunt anything except antelope for the last few years. My disease has limited my mobility and left me only being able to hunt from a vehicle or blind. This is very hard on public land. I received the call that I was drawn for a deer hunt. I was very excited. I was told to meet at the Bull Moose Retreat on October 27th. There were seven other hunters, six for deer and two for elk. We had a meet-and-greet dinner and all the hunters sighted in their rifles or bows. We go to meet all the volunteers and companion hunters. It was great. The next morning before sunrise, we were on our way to our blind on a private hayfield. This was going to be my first time hunting out of a blind. We drove up behind the blind and there were deer all around it. One doe actively looked into my window. We had to wait for it to become light before we could decide on a deer. I was just about to shoot a whitetail buck when Andrew, my companion hunter, noticed a bigger one. We decided on taking that deer. I was successful and filled my tag with a 142” whitetail buck – a beauty of a Wyoming deer!
Wyoming Disabled Hunters took care of everything for hunting properties, lodging, food, dressing the animals and paying for the meat processing. There are a great organization and provide quality hunts for the disabled and veterans. Definitely apply to hunt and donate if possible to continue their success.
Respectfully, Curt Dugger
Gregg Ervin (Deer)
I want to thank the Wyoming Disabled Hunters Organization (WDH). They gave me a chance to do something I never thought I would be able to do again, hunting. I have lived in the south all my life. A dream of mine was always to go out west and hunt.
Four years ago, I was diagnosed with a very rare muscle condition called Myasthenia Gravis. This disease can make very simple tasks such as writing my name, walking, talking and even eating very difficult. One day my doctor told me I needed to get a hobby other than management of my disease. I laughed at the suggestion but that got me thinking. I wanted to go hunting again. This is when I discovered WDH. I called and spoke with Terry, and he walked me through the application process. I completed the application, applied for a disabled hunters license in Wyoming along with a license to shoot from a vehicle, and got all the doctor signatures required. And then I waited…..
To my surprise, I was called by Terry to tell me I was selected for the deer hunt in October. I was beside myself with complete joy. My old hunting buddy and I got together to see if I could still shoot and hit the target. After months of practice shooting and other preparations, I was ready to go.
My wife and I landed in Cody Wyoming and our adventure began. We went a few days early so I could be rested before the hunt began. My companion hunter, Neal, and his wife Janice met us and took us around to see the unbelievable beautiful Wyoming landscape. Snow had fallen the night before and it continued to snow that day. For a country boy from the south who never sees snow, this was a wonderful, unexpected treat.
The next day we went to the Bull Moose Retreat and met the seven other hunters and their caregivers, companion hunters, landowners who allowed us hunters to hunt on their land, board members and other wonderful volunteers that make WDH possible. This was a great time of fellowship and of course eating. On this day all the hunters practiced shooting and were treated to another snow. More excitement for this southern guy.
Early on Friday morning, I set out with my companion hunters Neal and Mike. These men were incredible. Mike spotted the deer and once we got within 225 feet, I took one shot from the truck and killed a 10-point buck. I truly thought my heart was going to beat out of my chest. Neal and Mike brought the buck close to the truck, helped me out to see my buck. They also dressed the deer and took me to get the meat processed and to have my trophy deer mounted. BEST DAY EVER!!! I could not sleep this night, still overjoyed with my deer and blown away by the hospitality of WDH.
Without such a program as WDH, I would never have known I could fly on a plane, shoot a gun, and enjoy hunting again. Thank you WDH for all you do for disabled hunters. You guys’ and gals’ ROCK!! I made many wonderful memories and friendships. Thanks seems so inadequate for all the gratitude I have for WDH. If you can donate or volunteer to this organization, please do so. WDH provides a life changing event for the hunters that have been provided the exciting opportunity to participate in a hunt with the program.
Mark Franklin (Deer)
In 2010 I was involved in a 18 wheeler accident that left me a paraplegic. Since then it has been hard to find hunting companions. So when Mr. Terry called me summer of 2023 to come out to Wyoming to hunt deer, I was like: “I'm ready to come now.” LOL. It was an opportunity to hunt the west with beautiful landscapes and different animals to see. It was a great opportunity to see mountains in the background, snow on the ground and bucks pawing the ground making scrapes. It was cool to see. All the people that help put this hunt together were super nice – they made my wife and I feel like family. Mr. Rick and Mrs. Linda had a great place to lodge at the Bull Moose Retreat. Met lots of people, made lots of friends. Oh and I even harvested a beautiful buck. Icing on the cake so to speak. A big thank you for Wyoming Disabled Hunters for what you do. God bless each and everyone one of you.
Matt Mayo (Antelope)
I want to give a huge thank you to Wyoming Disabled Hunters and everyone involved with making their hunts possible. I was blessed with the opportunity to go on an antelope hunt with them in September, and can only say that it was an amazing experience I'll never forget. I'm sure there are some people I know who are sick of hearing me talk about it.
The people involved in putting on the hunt went above and beyond in making sure we enjoyed our time there. From the ladies serving us meals and making us coffee at the lodge to the companion hunters taking us to our hunt areas and taking care of the antelope we decided on shooting, everyone was awesome!
I want to give a special thanks to Marvin and Cindy, who took me to Pitchfork HMA in unit 82. They patiently waited on me to decide on a buck I wanted to shoot even though I decided to pass on a nice buck we saw within the first minute of arriving at the area I could hunt. I wanted to get the fuller experience of looking over lots of antelope before picking one to shoot, and they made sure I got to see plenty of them. I probably saw over 100 antelope including at least 30 bucks. When I finally decided I had found one I wanted to shoot, it ended up chasing another buck off out of sight as we were trying to get me within range to shoot it. As we continued driving around spotting and looking over more bucks, I found another one I wanted to shoot and got a shot at it from 234 yards. It ended up being a nice buck that was 14½" tall and had a gross score of 74"! It's currently at the taxidermist with a spot waiting for it on my living room wall.
Marvin and Cindy were amazing at helping me have a great time. They answered all my questions about hunting in Wyoming and were full of interesting information. Marvin is basically an encyclopedia of information about the land and history of Wyoming.
Thanks again to everyone involved with Wyoming Disabled Hunters! Y'all are amazing people in a beautiful state doing wonderful things to give people like myself experiences we'll never forget!
Sincerely, Matt Mayo
Edward Graver (Antelope)
The lifelong dream of a Wyoming hunt became a reality for me, a 72-year-old quadriplegic from Michigan, when I received a call from Terry Skinner (President of Wyoming Disabled Hunters) last February. I was lucky to have my application selected from so many but had some doubts that a person with my level of injury could be accommodated. My fears were quickly put to rest. Terry, Marvin, and Myles (my Hunter Companion) made several calls through the summer to ensure they understood my disabilities and that we were all prepared for the mid-September antelope hunt. Arriving at the Bull Moose Retreat my nurses and I were greeted by many members of the Wyoming Disabled Hunters (WDH). We immediately felt at home and among friends. A quick trip to the range was followed by the first of many delicious meals and an evening of interesting conversations. The following day all 8 disabled hunters would be successful, the meat prepared for transport, and their trophies taken to the taxidermist (if desired). From the application process through our departure it was obvious every need had been anticipated, planned for, and addressed.
I am very grateful for the many hours of work and planning, not to mention the generous donations from sponsors that were required to make this dream come true for me. Is there room for improvement? Only if a way can be found for more handicapped hunters to have this opportunity. Thank you to all the men, women, and sponsors of WDH.
Thank You, Ed Graver
Larry Couch (Antelope)
My wife and I have been hunting Wyoming since 1978. We enjoyed it so much. In September 2019, when I was 71, I lost my right leg from a staph infection in my bloodstream. Basically my hunting days were over since I could only walk with my prosthetic and my walker on level ground. Friends of ours in Wyoming told me about the Disabled Hunter organization and convinced me to put in an application. Terry Skinner was very helpful with information and the application process. Needless to say I was shocked when Scott called to say I got an antelope license! I was a little nervous since I really did not know what to expect but the whole experience was great. All the volunteers were so helpful. My wife nicknamed the 3 volunteers that went out with us the "3 Musketeers"! Besides being helpful they were so much fun to be with. Howard, Lance and Al put me on a nice antelope buck, gave me the yards (200), one shot later he was down. They put him in the truck, field dressed him and got us back where Brian and another volunteer quartered him up. It was a wonderful hunt and my first antelope draw in 15 years. It would not have ever happened without this organization and all the volunteers. It was a hunt experience I will never forgot. I am so very grateful. Thank you to Wyoming Disabled Hunters organization. Larry Couch
Greg Jaskinia (Antelope)
I want to take a moment to say: I greatly appreciate having the opportunity to participate in the pronghorn hunt in Cody, Wyoming and extend my most sincere appreciation for the opportunity you, the team, Terry Skinner, and all of the volunteers that provided for my wife and I. It was an honor to be a part of the pronghorn Hunt. It was great to meet fellow veterans and volunteers who helped make everything possible. Just an all-around great group of guys and gals. I can honestly say hunting with this group and giving everyone a chance to get out into nature, go hunting and get a trophy was outstanding.
Everyone we encountered during the stay - was truly generous and kind. The hunt in Cody was much more than just a hunt - it was a truly great experience like nothing else. Meeting the people, the gifts, the friendship, the amazing food, and most of all - the HUNT. Cody is an amazing place and I can wait to visit again someday.
Daily life and the everyday struggles, can often distract us from what's most important. Until this hunt, I did not realize just how much I needed this time away. There is so much to live for and be thankful for. Being able to enjoy and share my deepest passion of the outdoors is something I will always cherish and hold near to my heart. Again, with every bit of sincerity, thank you!
Thanks to everyone for all the work you did helping us, making sure we were squared away before the hunt and afterwards as well. Last but not least, I wanted to say thank you to EVERYONE for having us out, it is greatly appreciated. Greg Jaskinia
Phillip Macheca (Antelope)
Thank you Terry and crew at WDH for making a life long dream of hunting “Out West,” a reality. I am from Michigan. After my injury I thought that I had lost any opportunity to hunt let alone hunt in a place so incredible as Wyoming. The team of selfless individuals who labor to make up WDH are a gift to all of us who are in need of a little help. You made my wife and I feel completely welcome and comfortable. Everyone I met was like someone that I had known my whole life. The Bull Moose Retreat was beautiful, surrounded by the stunning Wyoming scenery. The rooms were clean and very well kept. Special thanks to Brian and Kevin, my hunting guides. They were exceptionally knowledgeable and helpful, going above and beyond to make sure I was able to harvest a quality antelope buck. I will be forever grateful for the gift of the adventure I experienced, as a result of your kindness and generosity. Phil Macheca
Scott Hettinger (Elk)
Everything that I prayed and hoped that the weekend would be, it was all of that times 1000. The volunteers. The lodging. The meals. The fellowship. Everything! You guys have it all covered. Couldn’t have asked for anything else. Charlie and Myles went way above and beyond to give me the best opportunity in the field. I was truly blessed by being there. So thank you, thank you, thank you. I can’t tell you that enough. Notice how I don’t mention anything about taking an elk. Believe me, I’m humbled and motivated beyond words by being able to do so. But that’s not what it was all about for me. The elk was the icing on the cake. But even if I had not been successful, the weekend was still successful anyways. It’s my prayer that you guys are able to continue doing what you are doing. And I also pray that I can join you again sometime. Possibly in the Volunteer role. So thank you again. You guys are amazing.
CJ Tarbett (Elk)
We want to thank everyone involved with CJ's hunt especially Rod and Rick his companion hunters. This is all he has talked about since. He was happy to finally be able to hunt with his dad, a life-long dream of his. He talks about the long and bumpy road, but says it was totally worth it. He talks about the nice and warm hut that his dad is jealous of right now because he is hunting for deer. He talks about the gun that allowed him to shoot by using a straw in his mouth and the video monitor that allowed him to see the elk in the crosshairs. He talked about the “boring” wait for the elk to come down, but then the excitement of when they did arrive. The excitement of watching the elk drop after he shot it. When Rod and Rick dragged the elk closer, CJ could not believe how big she was. The reality sunk in that he killed a cow elk and the smile has been from ear to ear since. It is all he talks about to anyone that will listen. Rod and Ricks knowledge of hunting elk and in this area was extensive and very valuable. They were awesome with CJ, and he very much appreciated all their hard work and dedication before, during, and after the hunt. They worked together to gut and quarter her and knew what they were doing. We are so great full to the both of them for all their efforts and hard labor. We also want to give a big shout out to Wapiti Valley Meats for all their hard work in processing the elk. You guys are awesome! Thanks again for everyone’s diligence with the meals and snacks. The Bull Moose Retreat was awesome and beautiful, and we appreciate their hospitality for leading us use it. Terry, thank you for all your help and coordinating the hunts and hunters along with the support of the Wyoming Disabled Hunters board members and land owners. Without the land owners these hunts would not be as successful. We greatly appreciate the access to their land for these hunts. We know that it is all volunteer and appreciate everyone’s time and efforts that it takes to pull this off. What a great group of people and great program! Thank you again for everything!
Randy, Amy, and CJ Tarbett
Austin Booth (Elk)
Dear Wyoming Disabled Hunters,
I hope this letter finds you in the best of health and high spirits. I am writing to express my heartfelt gratitude for the incredible experience you provided to Austin through your program. His dream of hunting elk in the beautiful state of Wyoming came true, thanks to your dedicated efforts and support.
The journey to fulfill Austin’s dream was not just about hunting; it was a transformative and life-enriching experience that he will cherish forever. Your organization’s commitment to empowering individuals with disabilities is nothing short of remarkable. The opportunity you offered Austin, and others like him, is a testament to the power of empathy, compassion and community.
Throughout the trip, Austin shared his excitement and joy, and it was evident that this experience touched his heart in ways that words alone cannot express. He learned not only about the art of hunting but also about the importance of perseverance, connection with nature and the kindness of people who genuinely care.
Your team’s dedication to ensuring Austin’s safety, comfort and enjoyment was truly commendable. The professionalism, attention to detail to make sure that Austin fulfilled his dream, and the warmth of your volunteers made the journey unforgettable.
Austin’s elk hunting adventure was more than just a dream fulfilled; it was a life-changing event that boosted his confidence, broadened his horizons and gave him a sense of belonging supports his passions.
Your organization is a shining example of how a group of compassionate individuals can make a profound impact on the lives of those with unique challenges. You not only granted Austin an opportunity he longed for but also opened the door to a world of possibilities.
I want to extend my heartfelt appreciation to everyone at Wyoming Disabled Hunters who made this incredible journey possible. Your kindness, generosity and dedication have left an indelible mark on Austin’s life, and for that, we will be forever grateful.
Please accept this letter as a small token of our gratitude for the life-changing experience you provided to Austin. We look forward to staying connected with your organization and supporting your mission in any way we can.
With sincere thanks and warm regards,
Brandon Shaklee (Elk)
I have been fortunate to do most my hunting in the state of Colorado and didn’t think it could get much more scenic but the sights of my elk hunt blew me away. The south fork of the Shoshone River is a truly magical place that I will never forgot. The stars aligned the first morning of my elk hunt and everything that needed to go right, went right. That is nearly unheard of in hunting and certainly something I have never experienced. We decided to take a little drive to see where the elk were hanging and the first spot we checked just happened to be loaded up. Finding the animals is just the start of the hunt. Getting in range without spooking them was the next challenge, we devised a plan and the rest is history. Stalk, shot, and killed all within under five minutes. There are so many added challenges hunting with a disability so having a hunt come together like that is unbelievable and wouldn’t have been possible without all the help I received.
Erica Vaughn (Elk)
From the moment that we arrived at Cody, Wyoming, we were just ecstatic! It was definitely a different type of country that we've never seen before. We arrived at the Holiday Inn and there we were greeted with our coordinator, Terry Skinner. He helped us get checked in and settled into our room and later he showed us a little bit of country and we had the opportunity to site-in my gun. The next day we went hunting; on my first day I was unable to secure an elk. However, on my second day, I was able to harvest a cow elk with a help of my guides Matt and Jake. They were very knowledgeable and welcoming during the entire process helping me every step of the way. Upon completion of killing my elk, we then took it to the processor where WDH provided full-cost payment for the processing of the elk. We had an extra evening in Cody so we able to catch up and visit with Terry and his wife to learn more about them. It was a great dinner over fellowship. We were sad to pack up and head home as it had been a very special place in our hearts. All in all the hunt was amazing with Wyoming Disabled Hunters! They greeted you, made sure that you had breakfast lunch and dinner and they processed your animal for you, and even reimbursed your mileage! Did I mention the free hoodie that they give you; it is extremely warm! I recommend this hunt to any disabled hunter out there and hope that you've been blessed just as much as I have!
Scott Bentz (Elk)
I would like to say a few words about my elk hunt with Wyoming Disabled Hunters. I was notified early on in the year 2023 that I was chosen to participate in a hunt. I arrived in Cody in September, met with my guides, and shot targets. I spent an amazing 2 days listening to bugling elk. The first morning I had the opportunity to use a track chair. And the second morning I harvested my elk in the back of a side-by-side. My guides worked extremely hard to make this possible. It's an amazing opportunity and I am honored to have been able to experience the hunt.
Thanks for all you do.