Trails End Sanctuary 2012

Ronny Sweger

Patriots Sheri and Rusty Cornwell of Trails End Sanctuary in Vinita, Ok hosted the WWIA dove hunt for 12(some didn't get in the group photo) wounded veterans. The rustic lodge at Trails End is the perfect setting. It's located in the middle of the 1200 acres, has a skeet range out front over looking two stocked ponds. The veterans that came early couldn't help but grab their poles and hit the ponds. Those warriors hooked a lot of bass. Gerald, a Vietnam veteran, kept several.

The event started with all the skeet shooting the warriors could handle. There were many guns for the men to try shooting. They ranged from very nice over/under and the newest that Remington has to a single shot 20 gauge ( Frank's, an OIF vet, favorite). After getting warmed up on the range, the Heroes were taken to the dove field. The birds offered freely of themselves and the warriors took greatly. As a bird approached these new hunters darken the sky with lead. The volunteer runners would go get the downed birds so that the men could focus on shooting and having fun. I've never been in such a fun or loud dove field. The warriors gave each other a hard time over missing but also greatly praised every hit. We returned from the dove field to a great dinner at the lodge. After dinner these Heroes talked like they had been friends for years until they were reminded of the 4am wake up call.

The next morning provided the best action that I'd ever seen in the dove fields. These new hunters each bagged around 10 birds during the short early flight. It was another great time. We returned to the lodge for an amazing breakfast while the birds were all cleaned and packaged for the warriors. After eating, some Heroes fished the ponds and they all did well. Most the warriors stayed at the lodge and spoke with the hosts, volunteers, guides, and sponsors. It was a perfect weekend getaway. Everyone had a great time and made new friends.


WWIA Dove Hunt from Black Reel Studio on Vimeo.

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