Foundation arranges dream trips for ill hunters

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Foundation arranges dream trips for ill hunters

By WILL ELLIOTT, Buffalo News Outdoors Reporter

12/8/2002

All hunters cherish trophy kills and spectacular times spent outdoors, but these experiences become even more heightened when that hunting or fishing trip could be one's last.

That was the thought Tina Pattison had when starting the Hunt of a Lifetime Foundation on Aug. 2, 1999, the day her stepson Matt died of Hodgkin's disease at 19.

Tina, of Harborcreek, Pa., had appealed to Make-A-Wish Foundation officials when Matt was 18 and was told he was "no longer eligible" for their services. She then received a notice from the foundation: "All chapters shall not grant the use of or gift of weapons designed to cause injury."

With the help of 68 contributors and free helicopter transport and lodging, Matt hooked up with guide Gene Grosso and, along with his stepfather, went on a Canada hunt that resulted in a trophy bull moose.

Tina has since arranged numerous hunting and fishing trips "to grant children and young adults (ages 21 and under) with life-threatening illnesses their dream hunting or fishing trip."

Tina noted that in recent years, some fishing trips, ones that could not be catch-and-release-only, were not granted. Tina said, "On the plus side, Make-A-Wish has recently begun referring kids to us (Hunt of a Lifetime) when they want to go on a hunting or fishing trip somewhere." To learn more about this remarkable program, call (866) 345-445 or see the Web site: www.huntofalifetime.com.


Tales of the whitetails
Whitetail buck tales continue - most happy, one sad.

Kenneth Bittner of Alexander, archery hunting from a tree stand in Whitesville on Nov. 9, dropped a five-point buck and, before he left the stand, spotted a doe for a 20-yard kill.

"Two deer on two shots in two minutes. . . . What a great feeling to know I did it with a bow," Bittner wrote.

Bill Pearce of Attica climbed Rattlesnake Hill state land in Dansville opening day of shotgun season and took a 160-class Boone and Crocket, 10-point, 41/2-year-old, 196-pounds dressed, 151 non-typical buck. Michael Polito of Buffalo hunted at Rushford opening morning and brought a 170-pound 12-pointer to Dave Elliott at Nature's Way Taxidermy for mounting.

On Thanksgiving Day, Jim Carr used a Colt 44 Special pistol in Niagara County to bag a 12-point buck with a B&C gross of about 170.

Town of Tonawandan Dave Mitschang writes, "Where are the honest people!?"

While archery hunting with nephew Dave at Centerville in Allegany County Nov. 15, Dave got a 6-yard shot at an eight-point buck, which he killed, dressed and dragged a mile to the road. While on a quarter-mile walk up the road to get his truck, the buck was taken.

"Someone needed to put meat on the table or (this was) a sad attempt to have status over another hunter," he concluded.


Muzzleloader season nears
New York State muzzleloading season goes from Wednesday, the day after shotgun season ends, until Dec. 17.

Muzzleloader shooters, using primitive and modern smokepoles, have a handy new tool to make shot loading simpler. Smokepole Concepts in Akron, Ohio, has devised an in-line loader, which carries powder and ball (or bullet) for quick one-shot reloading.

For nearest dealers and other information, call (866) 733-9805 or see the Web site: www.bbsinlinerloader.com.


No disease found
Nothing. That's the good news from a lab in Ames, Iowa, which the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has been using to test 500 of 800 whitetail deer for the presence of chronic wasting disease.

"Researchers are using carcasses taken from road kills and deer farms around the state," said Robert Vacanti of Whitetail Scents in Warsaw. Vacanti serves as representative for deer farm operators statewide.

A DEC ban continues on the importation of live deer species into New York State.


Fur auction scheduled

Erie County Trappers Association will hold its Annual Fur Auction at Collins Conservation Club on Jan. 4. Buyers and sellers can register between 8-10 a.m.; auctioning begins at 10. For more details, call Rick and Patti Wattengel at (716) 337-2556.
 


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