On October 10, the Logan Area Chapter of the NWTF teamed up with Mingo Logan Coal Company near Sharples to host its second ever Nathan Baisden Memorial Hunt.
Hunters for this year’s event were selected from the NWTF Wheelin’ Sportsmen program, Wounded Warriors, and the Outdoor Dream Foundation.
Each of these organizations help disabled hunters to overcome many obstacles and get back into the woods and enjoy the sport of hunting and fishing. Last year was the first ever handicapped hunt for the Logan Area Chapter and Mingo Logan Coal. This year the event’s name was changed to commemorate the passing of one of the hunters who attended last year’s event.
Unfortunately, after planning had begun for this year’s event another hunter from last year’s event, who was planning to attend again this year, Daniel Adkins, also passed away. This only made it more fitting to have the name reflect and memorialize those first hunters.
Frank Robinette, Logan Area Chapter Member and employee of Mingo Logan Coal Company, served as the main coordinator for the event and worked tirelessly bringing all the groups involved together.
The hunt took place on reclaimed surface mine properties controlled by Mingo Logan and has little hunting pressure which helped to ensure the hunters best odds of success. It, also, helped that the reclaimed surface mines that were hunted were teaming with game.
The outpouring of support from Mingo Logan Coal Company and its employees was truly exceptional. These employees along with several members of the Logan Area Chapter gave up their time and energy to not only locate the game, but to prepare stand sites and access to them for the physically impaired hunters.
Those same volunteers also gave up their day off to serve as guides, trackers, cooks, skinners, coaches, anything the hunters needed during their day in the field. They all worked together to ensure each and every hunter was well taken care of.
Not only did the hunters get to experience some first class Southern West Virginia hunting, they also got to have a little fun, too, as the hunters were treated to lunch time festivities, including great food and even an impromptu archery tournament.
WVDNR Officers Ballard and Harvey were on hand during midday as the hunters returned for lunch to help out, and answer any questions the hunters might have.
After a hearty lunch, the hunters headed back to the stands for the evening hunt. With several animals already on the ground and headed to a taxidermist shop, anything the hunters would see or harvest in the evenings hunt would surely be a bonus.
The event hosted 13 hunters from 5 different states, and ranged in abilities from amputees, to wheelchairs, to recovering cancer patients. The volunteers did everything they could to make sure their hunt was as enjoyable as possible.
Every hunter saw plenty of game during the hunt. Two hunters were lucky enough to take their very first black bear with archery tackle. In the two day hunt a total of 8 deer were taken and 2 bear. It was truly a special occasion.
Representatives for the Outdoor Dreams Foundation, a group that brought three young hunters with debilitating illnesses from South Carolina, said that the hunt was one of the best overall, if not the best, that they had attended. This was not due to game taken, but due to the volunteers. One quote stated “Your people showed a true love towards helping our kids and the other hunters.” This was the intent of the hunt from the beginning and it is great that the hunters are enjoying themselves.
The Logan Area Chapter and Mingo Logan Coal Company sincerely appreciate all of the support from the local companies and the WVDNR for the hunt. It is truly a team effort to pull off a hunt such as this. With the outstanding support of the community the event gets better and better each year.
Preparations for next year’s hunt are already underway and every volunteer is already thinking of ways to make it better. So if you see any of the volunteers that helped make this event possible, be sure to give them a hearty pat on the back, they truly deserve it.
If you are looking for a way to give back, November 1, 2015 is Share Your Harvest Sunday and the WVDNR is asking every hunter to help support the Hunters Helping the Hungry program. You can help by either making a monetary donation to help cover meat processing costs or by donating a legally harvested deer. More information on the program can be found at www.dnr.gov/hunting/HHH.shtm.