Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation

Organization asks hunters to donate their ‘Hides for Heroes’ to benefit veterans

As the deer hunting season gets underway, what are you planning to do with your hide? Hides for Heroes has an idea.

Started in 2012 by Dave Hintz, of Waupaca, Hides for Heroes asks hunters to donate deer hides to benefit the Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation Inc. Based out of Florida, the foundation began with retired Lt. Col. John McDaniel taking Wounded Warriors on fishing and hunting trips, before growing into a nationwide nonprofit organization which offers Purple Heart recipients opportunities to participate outdoor expedition for no charge, according to its website.

While the organization is national, it impacts Wisconsin veterans. One of the camps utilized by the nonprofit is Camp Hackett, located outside of Phillips. The camp includes nearly 600 acres of state property and is home to ruffled geese, foxes, bears, beavers, whitetail deer and more.

Touched by its mission, Rachel Walters, of Fond du Lac, wanted to help the organization after learning about it through a news broadcast out of Green Bay. Throughout her previous work, she had come in contact with many veterans and sought an avenue to expand the help she could offer to them. Hides for Heroes offered a simple way to do so, she said.

With many of the collection boxes in areas including Waupaca, Borth, Amherst, Weyauwega and more, Walters offered to bring Hintz’s mission to Fond du Lac and Winnebago counties. Already networking for her job, Walters believed she could also network for the organization.

To hunters, Hides for Heroes ask hunters what they are going to do with their hides.

“What are you doing to do with another pair of gloves?” Walters said. “I’m always like, ‘Just give me your hide because you’re not going to get much from it.’”

Through boxes in Fond du Lac, Oshkosh and Ripon, Hides for Heroes collected 200 hides from the area in 2017. Meeting in Winneconne, Walters handed off the hides to Hintz, who, with items donated from his employer, Waupua Foundry, then salted them and sold them to a broker. Last year, even with a decrease in hide prices, $7,533 was presented to the Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation to assist veterans.

This year, the Fond du Lac and Oshkosh areas will have at least six boxes for hunters to fill with their hides. Statewide, Walters looks to use her connections to bring Stevens Point into the loop as well. Boxes will be available into January, and Hides for Heroes hopes to have a sizable haul by the end of it.

“All that donate say they do because it’s a good cause,” she said.

Want to contribute to Hides for Heroes?

Boxes can be found locally at:

  • Dutch’s Trading Post, 258 N. Main St., Fond du Lac
  • The Cabin, N7562 Lakeshore Drive, Fond du Lac
  • The Nuthouse, 5351 Fond du Lac County Road D, Fond du Lac
  • Big Rig Chrome, 3735 S. Washburn St., Oshkosh
  • Fishtales Bait Shop, 4050 County A, Oshkosh
  • City of Ripon Public Works Garage, 570 Aspen St., Ripon 

For more information, visit facebook.com/pg/WoundedWarriorsHides4Heros or call Rachel Walters at 920-251-1635.