Phoenix, AZ -(AmmoLand.com)- The Arizona Elk Society (AES) has recently launched “Hunts for Heroes”, an Arizona wounded warrior hunt program.
“Hunts for Heroes” mission is to provide hunting opportunities in Arizona for our returning military veterans who have been left with a disability while in the service of our Nation’s military. After the first few hunts we realized that these men and women need these types of opportunities to Heal Through Hunting.
AES Executive Director Stephen Clark comments, “We as hunters sometimes take for granted the serenity, beauty, peacefulness, quietness, camaraderie and much more that we experience in the outdoors. This program aims to share all the great experiences of the hunt and outdoors with Arizona’s disabled veterans.”
As an organization with the Hunting Heritage as part of our mission and a supporter of our military, we recognize the void in many veterans’ lives when they return from duty with injuries that have impacted their ability to enjoy the outdoors and hunting activities. Our goal is to provide great opportunities for these men and women to get back into the woods, and be able to enjoy the Great Outdoors of Arizona and to Heal through Hunting.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department offers a very successful tag transfer program allowing a donated tag to go to a qualified 501c3 organization such as the Arizona Elk Society. The qualifying organization can then offer the tag, along with help and support, to a disabled veteran that qualifies.
AES Hunts for Heroes Program Director, Dave Holbrook was an outfitter operating a successful operation in Colorado for many years and now lives in Arizona. Dave ran a program of his own to get disabled veterans out hunting through his outfitting business. He approached the AES Board and offered to help start a disabled veteran program. This was the beginning of the Arizona Elk Society “Hunts for Heroes” program.
Here are a few comments from our past warriors:
“My experience of being in the woods with a team of experts was more than humbling, and to me, an absolute vital step in becoming reacquainted with normal life.”
“What can we do to thank you guys for what you have done?……. A question I’ve been asked a few times and never can come up with a solid answer. After all, we all enlisted mostly knowing what we were getting ourselves into. However, the Arizona Elk Society and Hunts for Hero’s have the answer figured out. Whether you’re a first time hunter, or have been in the woods your entire life, taking us on hunts like these is an extraordinary gift.”
“The hunt also got me out of my house and routine that keeps me to just myself. I met some good fellow veterans and other good men that really care. And that by far speaks/shows respect that not a lot of people do.”
The response to the AES Hunt for Heroes program has been tremendous and the feedback we receive from the warriors has been positive and rewarding, many have even returned to volunteer with other hunts. AES is seeking program sponsors, outfitters and guides that are familiar with different Game Management Units in Arizona and volunteers. We have many hunts coming up and we are receiving new tags all the time.
If you know wounded warriors that qualify for the tag transfers here in Arizona please have them go to the Arizona Elk Society Website and complete the application.
About the Arizona Elk Society:
Established in 2001, the Arizona Elk Society (AES) is an Arizona non-profit organization to benefit elk and other wildlife in Arizona through habitat conservation and restoration. The organization works with government agencies and other organizations to provide their services. It prides itself in providing “hands on” support that conserves and enhances wildlife habitat in Arizona. It further promotes our hunting heritage for present and future generations through special youth education programs regarding conservation, hunting and outdoor activities.
For more information, visit: www.ArizonaElkSociety.org.