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Back by demand: Outdoor recreation answers call for spring hunt

Mark Yoakum, outdoor recreation facilities manager, drives the Warrior on Lake Tholocco at Fort Rucker with Tony Vilardo, a wounded warrior, in 2013, shortly after ODR purchased the boat to support wounded warriors. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Mark Yoakum, outdoor recreation facilities manager, drives the Warrior on Lake Tholocco at Fort Rucker with Tony Vilardo, a wounded warrior, in 2013, shortly after ODR purchased the boat to support wounded warriors. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Published: February 25, 2016

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (Feb. 25, 2016) -- Hunters and community members will get a second opportunity to support wounded warriors during the inaugural Wounded Warrior Spring Hunt March 18-20.

According to John Clancy, Fort Rucker outdoor recreation manager, the event was created in response to customers’ requests.

“Outdoor recreation was asked if we could possibly host a spring hunt,” he said. “ODR thought that it was a good idea because not all wounded warriors can attend the fall hunt. This would give an opportunity to other wounded warriors.”

The hunt begins March 18 and ends March 20 at 11 a.m. Registration is open now and costs $25 per person.

“This hunt will be a spring turkey and coyote hunt,” Clancy said. “Also, this is smaller than the fall hunt because the only funds that will be raised to support the wounded warriors will be the registration fees. It is just a friendly competition between the wounded warriors.”

Prizes will be awarded to first-place winners for the highest scoring turkey, heaviest coyote and most coyotes.

“All hunters must obey state regulations and Fort Rucker regulations, possess a state hunting license, a hunter’s education card,” Clancy said. “Turkeys and coyotes can only be harvested on Fort Rucker. Hunters must register all turkeys and coyotes with ODR.”

According to Clancy, hunters must present their game to the ODR service center, Bldg. 24235 on Johnston Road, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

He added that the spring hunt continues to build upon the community spirit fostered each fall.

“The camaraderie helps the wounded warriors understand that they can do things with other individuals in the community,” he said. “The wounded warriors now have equipment and facilities at their deposal at no cost to them. They can actually get out into nature, and spend time with their family and friends without feeling they are a burden. It helps them understand that they can (still) enjoy life.”

Clancy urged hunters to stay hydrated during the warmer spring temperatures and to remain vigilant while walking through the wooded areas.

“Keep your eyes open for snakes around fallen trees, wet areas, and briary or high grassy areas,” he said. “Keep insect repellant with you that will protect against ticks, chiggers, mosquitoes and other biting insects.”

For more information or to register, call 255-4305.

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