NWTF/Catalina Island Conservancy Wounded Warrior Mule Deer Hunt on Catalina - hard hunting


Well-known member
We did the Second Annual NWTF/Catalina Island Conservancy Wounded Warrior Mule Deer Hunt out on Catalina the week of Dec 13-17. Both hunters, US Marine. Sgt. Mike Wishnia and Eric Rodriquez were first time deer hunters who in spite of serious injuries to their lower extremities got out there and hunted hard. This year the NWTF staff was Doug Abfalter, their CA/NV rep., Kevin Vella an NWTF biologist and Tim Brown who is VP of the Leatherneck Chapter of the NWTF. After arrival and greeting with the VFW, we made camp and had a great BBQ with the VWF and the folks from Avalon. Even the major, the CEO of the Conservancy and police chief were there. The whole roasted pig was a special treat for all.
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The pictures above are the VFW ceremony with Eric and Mike (the big young guys in the blaze caps) in Avalon on their arrival.

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Camp and the pig roast for all!

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Ann the CEO of the Conservancy, Mike, The Mayor of Avalon and Eric. Yup, these were BIG men!

The hunting was “difficult” given the weather but Kevin R and Tyler D, Conservancy conservation staff and great guides along with the NWTF folks all kept at it with Eric and Mike and the final score was 3 deer; one 3 point buck and two does. The does were taken first as they are the prime target for herd management – island conservation. The Admiral and I were the “camp masters” so I don’t have any lies to tell about the hunting - we stayed in camp as logistical support; cooking & cleaning. The heavy rain on the last two days made us “pop smoke” and evacuate to the Middle Ranch Bunkhouse where we even had electricity and Tim made the best wild boar chili ever.

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Eric shooting and his doe

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Mike and his buck taken on the last morning .

All the pictures from this trip can be accessed on the NWTF California page https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.812212945484327.1073741827.213518392020455&type=1

And if you want to see the video from last year’s hunt which shows the hunting and a lot more, you can find it at http://youtu.be/qXsdzFb8M_4

Can’t wait till we do it again next year in Sept – warmer weather, longer days and NO rain!
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Well-known member
All I can say is that getting to know Eric and Mike was a privilege. As the Admiral noted with tears in her eyes, what all these young men do for all of us is beyond words. We are so proud of them.
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Mike and Eric

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The whole hunting crew in our little window of sunshine - thank you all for making the trip a success.
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