• 48°

Bagging Bucks

UNION TOWNSHIP — Konner Lively got his first deer last year, and another this year. “It was a spike,” he explained, meaning its antlers didn’t branch. In addition to the buck, Konner got to hang with his dad, Bill Lively, and his grandpa, Don Davis, for the day and share the family love of hunting.

But more than that, 12-year-old Konner, who suffers from an immune deficiency, got to forget his illness for one day and do something he loves, with the help of Dad and Grandpa, both members of the local chapter of the Wild Turkey Federation, which sponsors the annual Wheelin Sportsman Hunt at Lake Forest.

Each year 10 physically challenged people are invited to hunt with the assistance of a WTF member.

The invitee gets to take home the prize and the WTF member gets the satisfaction of knowing they helped bring the world of hunting to someone who, without assistance, might never get to taste that thrill of victory.

Robert Boggs didn’t let his wheelchair stop him Friday. He and his friend, Jerry Mullins, another WTF member, spent the day in search of that prized buck.

“I’ve been around it all my life,” Boggs said. “I just wanted to deer hunt. And Jerry gave me the opportunity to hunt. He wanted to take me and said ‘come on’ and I shot at one yesterday. I got one last year.”

Buddy Frye, president of the local Wild Turkey Federation chapter, said the event was started six years ago.

Hunters spend three days in the woods with their physically challenged friends. The event culminated Saturday with banquet at the lake beach house.