This was originally published as a guest post on Randy Schultz’s blog, A Bird Hunter’s Thoughts. A real honor for the writer and for Second Shot.
by Kelsey Anderson
“Pop, pop!” went the 20 gauge in Riverside, Iowa on a cold, but sunny Saturday afternoon. Nellie and Zeus, my two energetic labs, ran to the middle of the field where the pheasant fell from the sky after Chris shot his first bird of the day; a silly grin plastered across his face. Second Shot was giving Chris a second shot at hunting and a day of outdoor therapy fun.
Chris was Second Shot’s first client. Although it was a passion of his, Chris hadn’t been hunting in years. An accident, years prior, had left him in a wheelchair. Trying out something new and unknown to us and to him, adaptive hunting. Second Shot, a non-profit developed to provide outdoor therapy for those who are disabled or who are struggling with an illness, is not something I had planned on being a part of.
While growing up my dad tried (on more than one occasion) to convince me to go on hunting trips with him or earn my hunting safety. I now understand why. Hunting isn’t about hunting. It’s about being a part of a community. Second Shot is about creating opportunity for someone who otherwise couldn’t be a part of this community. Highland Hideaway welcomed all of us, hunters and volunteers alike, onto their property and into their hunting family months ago. What a wonderful family to be a part of! This community is something that I want to share with friends, family, and Second Shot clients past and future.
I’m sure that many, as am I, are already looking forward to the bird hunting season to begin again. To wake up early (hopefully to coffee brewing and labs licking your face) and get outside as the sun is still rising. If you’re lucky you’ll see the mist lifting off of the grass. While packing up the truck with all of the necessities it is hard to tell who is more excited… you or the dogs. Driving, you hit the gravel road and it’s no competition any longer, the dogs are definitely more excited! For me, my contentment comes at the end of the day; when I get to see how happy our client is to have had this opportunity again. Something that we all take for granted.