WWIA Whispering Pines NY hunt

Chris Kenyon
Chris Kenyon

If you use numbers to equate success you’ll appreciate this final score. Ten pheasants and six chukars are released in the fields at Whispering Pines Hideaway. Four hunters work the terrain with their dogs. At the completion of the upland hunt all 16 birds are dropped by the hunting party. That’s 100% and in my book…an impressive day of shooting.

The only bird that wasn’t retrieved was the hen pheasant that dropped in the forked branch of a maple. “My dog is good, but he doesn’t climb trees,” Todd Shaw said during the game dinner celebrating the 4th Annual Wounded Warriors in Action Hunt at Whispering Pines in Lyons, Wayne County.

This year four Purple Heart Veterans were selected to partake in the upland game hunt hosted by Charles and Carol Buisch of Whispering Pines, and organized by Jim and Mary Lou Reisdorf of Macedon.

Each Veteran was on a mission; however this upland hunt was not in a war zone.

Along with Shaw, who lives in Tennessee, the 2013 event included Purple Heart Veterans, Scott Messier from Black River NY, David Marino from California, and Nathan Gibbs from Grandview, NY.

The Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation Inc. (WWIA) serves our Nation’s combat wounded Purple Heart recipients by providing world-class outdoor sporting activities as a means to recognize and honor their sacrifices, encourage independence and connections with communities and promote healing and wellness through camaraderie and a shared passion for the outdoors.

The reason this year’s Veterans were in upstate New York is because of Jim Reisdorf. Five years ago, Reisdorf, a retired Macedon businessman, and a Vietnam veteran, saw a program on television that caught his attention. “I had issues when I returned from combat, and we didn’t have any support groups back then,” Reisdorf said. “The program I watched was about an organization called Wounded Warriors in Action, and it featured a hunt organized exclusively for wounded warriors.”

Reisdorf has been a member of Whispering Pines Hideaway Preserve in Lyons and he contacted owner Charley Buisch about offering an upland bird hunt for some veterans. “Go for it,” Buisch said and they contacted John McDaniel, retired Lieutenant Colonel, US Army, the founder of Wounded Warriors in Action (WWIA).

The 2013 event was the 4th Annual Hunt and the second year the combat Veterans were accompanied by their spouses. “The real heroes are the wives,” Shaw said. “We were just doing our jobs. While we were overseas they were home, paying the bills, raising the kids, and keeping the family together. And they never knew whether a chaplain would come knocking on the door, notifying them of our death. They are the heroes.”

While the men hunted upland birds the ladies toured local wineries and were treated to brunch and spa treatment at Woodcliff in Rochester. Everyone rendezvoused back at Whispering Pines for a wild game meal.

The four veterans all have hunted, however some haven’t had the experience of upland hunting birds with dogs. ‘Dipstick,’Shaw’s retriever, refused to climb that tree for the pheasant; however the dog was excellent in the field. The birds, which were donated by Whispering Pine, were cleaned and some were prepared for the game dinner.

The WWIA has become a very successful organization for returning veterans,” Reisdorf mentioned. “During 2013 there were 50 hunts occurring in 35 states involving 220 Purple Heart veterans.”

The goals of the WWIA are to: Increase Self-Reliance, Bolster Self-Confidence, Enjoy the Great Outdoors, Promote Spiritual Healing and Wellness, and Instill a Sense of Belonging.

Mission was accomplished” during the 2013 Whispering Pines upland bird hunt and special WWIA weekend.

For more information of how you can be a part of this wonderful organization, contact Founder John McDaniel at 1.888.308.WWIA (9942) or email info@wwiaf.org

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