Bowhunting Antelope with the Physically Challenged Bowhunters of America and Paul Connelly
Editor’s Note: Paul Connelly of Gillette Wyoming, a Mossy Oak Pro Staffer, actively works with the PCBA (Physically Challenged Bowhunters of America). Mossy Oak Pro Staffers are far more than just hunters, seminar speakers and representatives for Mossy Oak. They're also heavily involved in community service. Often no one knows what these men and women of the Mossy Oak Pro Staff do for others. A hunt of a lifetime doesn’t always have to involve someone taking an animal. Connelly, his friends and his community have learned that providing a hunt of a hunt of a lifetime is far more rewarding than receiving a hunt of a lifetime.
A friend of mine once helped put on hunts for the PCBA here in Gillette, Wyoming. But for some reason, in 2013, they didn’t have a hunt here. The president of the PCBA contacted my friend Chuck McIntosh and asked him, “Do you know anyone in Gillette who would be willing to help with a hunt for some young people who are physically challenged?” Chuck said, “I know one guy. Let me contact him, and see what he says.” So,Chuck called me and asked me to come to his gun shop the next day. After a few minutes of chitchat Chuck said, “I've got a question for you.” Immediately, I said,“No,” not knowing what Chuck was going to ask. He told me,“The PCBA wants to put on an antelope hunt out here for five young men with physical challenges, and I need someone to help me with it and head up the program.”
Chuck and I sat down and began to lay out a game plan of how we could set this hunt up for these young bowhunters. We agreed to take no more than five hunters, 18-years old or younger, and we set the dates. Then, we called John Brod, the president of the PCBA. We started talking to landowners to see if we could find enough land for these young people to hunt. I called a friend, Jeff Sekich, who is also a member of the Mossy Oak Pro Staff and knows a lot of landowners out here. He helped me line up properties for these young men to hunt. Then we met with the owners of Arbuckle Lodge, and they gave us an unbelievably low rate to help us host our young bowhunters and their families. Next, I went to my church - New Life Wesleyan. The church agreed to allow us to use the kitchen and the facilities to set-up meals for our hunters and our guides. Although we had planned to take five young people, only four went, because one of them was sick and couldn’t come on the hunt.
We set up blinds near water holes where our shooters should have close shots on antelopes. We felt we could get our hunters to the blinds and in them easily. Three of our four hunters took bucks, and our fourth hunter missed a buck. Because he lives in Gillette, I will continue to take him antelope hunting until he gets his antelope.
To learn more about hunting, check out John E. Phillips’ new eBook and print book, “Bowhunting Deer: Mossy Oak Pros Know Bucks and Bows.” You also can download a free Kindle app that enables you to read the book on your iPad, computer or Smartphone.
For information on making jerky from your deer to provide a protein-rich snack, you can download a free book from http://johninthewild.com/free-books.
Tomorrow:The Antelope Hunt Plan for PCBA