GON Kids – April 2021
Blake Jeffers | April 4, 2021
Outdoor Dream Foundation Chases Georgia Gobblers
Coastal landowners, guides and volunteers gathered over the youth turkey weekend to host eight kids with The Outdoor Dream Foundation (ODF) as they searched for longbeards. The ODF’s goal is to connect kids and families suffering from chronic or terminal illness with the outdoors.
The entire hunt was funded thanks to a local turkey contest called the Harris Ace GobblerFest. Although it’s too late to sign up for this year’s contest, be ready for 2022. The competition takes place at all four Harris Ace Hardware stores, located in Brunswick, Hinesville, Jesup and Townsend. The $75 entry fee per team directly supports ODF and makes mentor hunts possible.
Colby Harris, owner of Harris Ace Hardware stores, and his team hosted the ODF hunt, which brought in several teens from across the state. These young hunters were hand-picked by ODF to attend the weekend hunt, held at the beautiful Gill Farm in Fleming, just outside of Savannah in Liberty County.
Each hunter in attendance has faced their own share of physical challenges so the goal of the weekend was to help them forget about their struggles and enjoy the outdoors. Killing a turkey would be icing on the cake!
Upon arrival on Friday evening, the hunters and their families were treated to a cookout where each hunter was given all sorts of hunting accessories from sponsors like Spurs Up Calls, Rogue Ammunition, Rectifire choke tubes and some others. South Georgia Taxidermy even offered to mount any turkeys harvested free of charge.
Saturday morning came early and found each hunter paired with their guide and headed off to the woods after a hearty home-cooked breakfast. As for weather, you could not have asked for a better day.
One of the hunters in camp this year was Charles David Bishop, better known as CD. As a 14-year-old ninth grader from Hampton, S.C, he, like many kids his age, enjoys football, baseball, hunting and pretty much anything outdoors.
In September 2019, CD was given the heartbreaking news of being diagnosed with leukemia and is currently undergoing treatment. Saturday morning he was able to connect with an 18-lb. gobbler that had 1 1/4-inch spurs and sported a 9-inch beard.
“I enjoyed going on that hunt this morning and riding 4-wheelers and all that,” said CD. “It was basically the time of my life!”
His father Carl Bishop also mentioned, “We love going with him anywhere that The Outdoor Dream Foundation invites him. We’re just as happy as he is when he kills things.”
Overall, the weekend was a huge success with two hunters bagging birds, two hunters getting shots off but not able to connect and several more having close encounters.
It isn’t the number of birds killed nor the length of any beard that measures the success of an event like this. The memories made and the time in the outdoors with family and friends is what truly matters. A big thanks is due to Colby Harris and his team for hosting this event, to the Gill Family for allowing their land to serve as the venue and to the hunting guides and volunteers for sharing their passion for people and the outdoors. We are already looking forward to next year!
To learn more about The Outdoor Dream Foundation, go to https://outdoordream.org.
|Apri 5 2021||Give It A Shot Handgun||Banks Co., Wilson Shoals WMA Shooting Range||678.630.3287|
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|Apri 9-11 2021||30-30 Ministries Striper Camp||Troup Co., Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Homes||3030ministries.org|
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|Apri 16-18 2021||30-30 Ministries Bowfishing Camp||Lake Hartwell||3030ministries.org|
|April 17 2021||Kids’ Fishing Event||Jasper Co., Marben PFA||470.259.7269|
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