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Big South Fork Veteran Hunt

Local veteran wants other combat veterans to benefit from recreational experiences in the Big South Fork

 

After seeing for himself how beneficial veteran hunts are for combat veterans-especially for those suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD)-McCreary County’s Ricky Allen, a twenty-one year KY National Guard veteran who served in Iraq, wants his home county to play a role in helping those who have served in the military.

“I went on a couple of veteran hunts and saw how beneficial they can be for veterans,” Allen explained.  “It made me start thinking about all this land we’ve got in McCreary County.  To me, it just seems natural to help our veterans by bringing them here to hunt and fish.”

With that in mind, Allen has established the Big South Fork Veteran Hunt (BSFVH).   Dedicated to bringing combat veterans to the Big South Fork to hunt and fish with a special emphasis on helping our nation’s veterans cope with PTSD and traumatic brain injury (TBI), the non-profit organization plans to host events open to combat veterans across the U.S.  Allen, as director of BSFVH, vice director Kenton Ryan, and other volunteers are working to bring at least three combat veterans (or as many as can be funded) from across the U.S. to the Big South Fork for a deer hunting excursion in November during open gun season.  The all-expenses paid trip for each selected combat veteran will include travel, lodging, and food as well as hunting license, tag, new camouflage with boots, and hunting rifle.  Hunters will be selected randomly from across the nation and will be required to have a DD214 showing overseas combat duty.

Relying on donations, BSFVH is asking the community to support veteran hunts and fishing expeditions in McCreary County.

“No donation is too small,” Allen remarked.  “Money is great, but manpower and hunting supplies help also.  Whether it’s a $10 dollar shooting stick, manpower, land to hunt on, or 2 x 4’s to use for building hunting blinds-anything can help make our outreach to veterans a good experience.  All funds and donations will be used to provide all-expenses paid hunting and fishing experiences to combat vets.”

Current BSFVH fundraisers include a raffle for a road ready 97 Heritage Softail Classic motorcycle with fresh rebuild, new fluids, plugs, wires, battery, and saddle bags.  Only 2,000 ten dollar chances are being sold at $10 per chance.  The bike will be raffled when all chances are sold.  For more information about the motorcycle raffle or to purchase a ticket call 606-310-1683.

Raffle tickets are also being sold for a Mossberg Model 835 Multi-Mag Turkey Pump-action Shotgun at two dollars per chance or three for five dollars.  Tickets can be purchased at Bestway Barber Shop in Whitley City, Drew’s Barber Shop in Pine Knot, Crabtree Wilson Insurance at Whitley City, or by calling Allen at 606-310-1683.

T-shirt sales and motorcycle rides are also planned to help raise needed funding.

Allen estimates it will cost approximately $3,000 per veteran for each hunting experience (including travel, food, lodging, rifle, etc.)  If the first hunt is successful, Allen hopes to add veteran turkey hunts and veteran fishing expeditions to the line-up of opportunities offered to veterans.

For those wanting more information, to volunteer, or to donate, please contact Ricky Allen at 606-310-1683 or BSFVeteranhunt@yahoo.com.  The organization also maintains a Facebook page under BSF Veteran Hunt.

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