A brief bought of rain and overcast skies did not hamper the Handlebar Ranch and Son’s of Buckhaven 3-D archery shoot from being a huge success.
Opening ceremonies were conducted by the Morrow County Veterans Association.
This annual fundraising event is held at Handlebar Ranch located at 6695 County Rd 76, Mount Gilead. The 3-D Archery shoot benefits post 9/11 combat injured veterans. This year’s shoot had 145 shooters, 129 adults and 16 kids, and raised over $6000.
The proceeds go to Buckhaven’s “Whitetails for Warrior’s”, an all expense paid Archery deer hunt. The hunt is held at Buckhaven Learning Center in Loudonville in October. Twelve disabled veterans are given the opportunity to harvest whitetail deer on this special hunt. Buckhaven will provide Hunters their hunting license, lodging and three meals a day will be covered for all attendees and their aids or spouse.
“So many of our service men and women present and past have been injured while serving to protect and defend our Great United States of America,” explained Willie Costello, Buckhaven board member. “Many of them are suffering from traumatic brain injuries, amputations, and severe burns. We give twelve disabled Veterans the opportunity to harvest Whitetail Deer. It also provides many opportunities and possibilities for our hunters to develop a special bond with one another and the community. We take care of their food, lodging, license, deer tag, snacks, butchering fees etc. We can accommodate any of their dietary needs and special needs that they may have.” None of the officers, board of directors, or volunteers are compensated for their time and devotion to Buckhaven
Volunteers of Handlebar Ranch archery club spend countless hours preparing the trails and 3-D targets to make the event a success.
One of those volunteers, Bobby Ruhl, spends a lot of time repairing the targets and sets up various scenarios to make the shoot fun.
As one proceeds along the archery trail they come across unexpected and fun targets including a bear using the facilities in an outhouse, a ‘flying pig”, a bear ravaged camp site, however, in an effort to remind everyone as to why they are there, the last scene that participants see as they leave the woods is a memorial to those who didn’t make it back. A soldier and deer can be seen paying respects to a fallen soldier.
“We wanted people to have fun but to also remember why we are her,” explained Ruhl.
The Son’s of Buckhaven, Buckhaven Learning Center, and Handlebar Ranch Archery Club would like to thank all of their sponsors for their support and everyone who helped to make this year’s event a success.
Reach Donna Carver at 419-946-3010, ext. 1804 or on twitter @MorrCoSentinel.