Hunt Of A Lifetime At Letterkenny
On Saturday, December 5, 2009, Letterkenny will be hosting the “Hunt of a Lifetime” event. Letterkenny Army Depot has teamed up with the Hunt of a Lifetime Inc. for the third year in a row to provide children hunting adventures. The children, all of whom have been diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses, have the opportunity to hunt in specially designated areas. Letterkenny is considered to be among the best hunting grounds in Pennsylvania.
The Hunt of a Lifetime Foundation has been sponsoring hunts and fishing trips for sick and handicapped youths since 2000 and was started in Pennsylvania. The partnership between the foundation and Letterkenny started in 2007 as a channel through which Letterkenny could reach out and support the local community. Letterkenny sponsored two youths in 2007, three in 2008, and three again this year.
Ranging from 12 to 21 years of age, the children hunt from specially constructed hunting blinds that are raised off the ground and heated to provide comfort. Each hunter and their parent or guardian is escorted in the field by volunteers who are familiar with the area. The volunteers stay with the hunter in the field ensuring that their hunt-day is an enjoyable experience and try to help them harvest a trophy that will be remembered for a lifetime. Letterkenny works with the families to ensure that the experience is remembered by providing a camera crew to capture the hunt. Snacks and lunch are provided by the Post restaurant. Overnight accommodations are provided for free by local area hotels.
On Saturday, December 12, 2009, the well-known AW2 Hunt will be held. Letterkenny Army Depot teams up with the U. S. Army Wounded Warrior Program for the fourth year to provide soldiers outdoor hunting experiences. At the Depot, soldiers who have suffered injuries or illnesses incurred after September 11, 2001, receive special privileges to hunt at Letterkenny for white-tailed deer in the fall and for wild turkey in the spring each year.
Similar to the Hunt of a Lifetime, soldiers hunt from specially constructed hunting blinds, getting the opportunity to harvest a trophy white-tailed deer. The soldiers are provided with everything from transportation, placing them in the field blinds, to field dressing their harvests. Through collaboration with the Yellow Breeches Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), donated clothing and gear are provided to the soldiers from the NWTF, Bass Pro Shop and Gander Mountain. Local hotels donate lodging for the hunts. The soldiers are taken out into the field in camouflage four-wheel-drive electric carts or “Bad Boy Buggies” and are placed in the heated blinds with their escort, who helps them harvest a trophy animal.