A Remarkable Story


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Jun 9, 2009
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A Remarkable Story

Recently, the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance (CF) sponsored a hunt for wounded warriors at Hudson Farm. It is impossible for my words to do the story justice. I will let Lieutenant Joe Caley tell his remarkable story, as only he can. His personal bravery and selflessness are portrayed toward the end of the story and are enormously inspirational. A link to the video of the hunt is included.

LT. Joe Caley, 8 pointer, bow kill, wounded warrior hunt, October, 2010.
Location: Hudson Farm.

Hello everyone, I wanted to share a hunting experience. I was invited to hunt in New Jersey this past week at Hudson Farm. This hunt was sponsored by the NJOA and the great folks at the Farm. I flew from Ft. Gordon, GA to Newark airport where I was met and driven to the town of Andover by Matt (Mathew James DelRusso.)

I had not hunted for close to 4years is the Army and now treatment from being wounded in Iraq just about a year ago has occupied so much of my time. Matt had a bow set up for me to use and after a few practice shots I was off to get my license. Our first day was exciting as the stand Matt and I was in had a buck come by really early and it was still too dark to make him out. Then a mature doe and her two yearlings come by and one presented a shot of about 12 yards. I passed on the shot since it was so early.

Our second morning Matt decided to pull out the stops and really did some awesome calling! Instantly we had bucks coming into our spot, thought they weren't shooters they stuck around eating acorns and giving us a good show. When they cleared the area Matt snort wheezed and called again. Suddenly another buck came walking in from down the hill. Then I caught movement through the trees and a nice 8pt comes walking down the hill to investigate. He had a noticeable limp and Matt discussed that he would be worth taking. We waited as the two bucks made their way within range and Matt cautioned me that I would have two sets of eyes and ears to contend with.

Matt told me when to go ahead and stand and draw and I did. Everything was so slow motion up until I release the arrow and saw it zip toward the deer. The 8pt ran uphill for about 50 yards and began to swagger. He then ran down the hill a short distance and went down. We waited a few moments as I sat to sit and think about what I just did. I worked hard the last year to relearn to walk on my two legs, I am still in a treatment hospital but I was so lucky to be in a tree stand with a great friend Matt in a part of the country I never thought I would ever visit let alone deer hunt in. I hope everyone [will recognize "Matty" and give him some good recognition for the hard work he put in making sure I was able to get into the woods and stands, and making sure I had proper equipment to use.] Also the great people at Hudson Farms and Pola who set this up with the NJOA. ... I'm back in Augusta GA now where it was 81 today, but I am missing the nice cool weather and awesome scenery of northern New Jersey!

I wanted to say "thank you" to all the [people] who have replied to my hunt story. I am honored that there are still Americans out there that respect the sacrifice our military men and woman make everyday. I am fortunate that I made it home alive, though I have spent the last year in treatment and am still receiving medical treatment, I never harbor any ill feelings toward my being wounded. I was doing my job for which I volunteered. I was "Leading from the Front" setting a good example for my young Soldiers under my command. I wake up everyday with the mission that I must do my best to heal and recovery as this is now the mission my Country and the Army has given me.

I consider myself very fortunate for being selected to come to Hudson Farms and spend four great days in the awesome countryside there! Matt worked hard with me everyday and I never gave up climbing those hills on my own two legs, which are still undergoing treatment. I vowed that I will return to New Jersey again one day because the great people there welcomed me and I felt at home. The experience of being in the fall woods made me feel at piece as my military career will soon come to and end and the thought of separating from the service due to a battle injury is something I find hard to bear.

However knowing there are great organizations like the NJOA and Wounded Warrior Project that helps Soldiers like me to get out and have unbelievable experiences like I had, I feel proud! I know Matty invited me to come bear hunt, and if I can get away from the hospital and doctors I'd love to experience that or just see the New Jersey woods in the winter!

Video of the hunt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3YfFuIMs1o

A very special thank you goes out from the NJOA to the people at Hudson Farm, Pola Galie, Matt DelRusso, Sam Yarosh, Billy Cooper and to all those that made this hunt a cherished memory for a very deserving person.

Most importantly, thank you LT. Joe Caley.

Anthony P. Mauro, Sr
New Jersey Outdoor Alliance
New Jersey Outdoor Alliance Conservation Foundation
New Jersey Outdoor Alliance Environmental Projects

Join the NJOA, "Help us to help you ensure your outdoor freedoms!"____

JOIN NJOA: http://www.njoutdooralliance.org/support/njoa.html

Officers: Ed Markowski, Captain Pete Grimbilas, Jerry Natale, Len Wolgast, PhD., Anthony Mauro


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