Being that I drove there myself from my home in Pa. I arrived early and was anticipating time to settle in and stow and prep gear, but I was immediately offered a chance to hunt the last couple hours of daylight. I graciously seized the opportunity and was changing my boots and donning hunting gear right after I had parked my truck. The habitat and placement of the stands and blinds L.E.E.K. uses are superb. My guide, Bruce, and I were able to watch a family of bear that evening. We continued to see bear with regularity throughout the week and we were dubbed the "bear magnets".
The weather was cold and rainy but yet we were all comfortable, I never heard a compliant from anyone about the weather. Which attests to the healing power of relaxation, camaraderie, and enjoying an activity which puts pain aside.
We hunted Pheasant twice. For many it was their first time hunting Ring-necks. A good time was had by all, the dogs and handlers made it almost too easy for us. I was honored by having a fellow Marine Sniper, a Master Sgt, use my heirloom Browning to take two Pheasant on the second day hunting them.
The local land owners provide fantastic deer habitat and have many well placed and comfortable blinds for which to hunt from. The healthy deer population is a result of the proper management they employ. The land owners eagerly seek Wounded Warriors to hunt their properties, some are Veterans themselves.
I had missed a deer, twice, one shot at an embarrassing range. I got ribbed by all as would be expected from a bunch of guys at a hunt camp. But they didn't loose faith in me and I was the last one to harvest a doe on the morning of the last hunting day, maintaining the 100% success ratio of L.E.E.K. .
All in all the camp runs like a military operation, with only the good military facets being employed and not the B.S. ones. The high ratio of high ranking Veteran and current military personnel as volunteers may be the reason of this.
I was very thankful of the religious presence at camp also. From both the Chaplin "Chappy" and my guide, Bruce, himself a minister and both members of the Christian Bowhunters of America. Besides, Potter county has been named "God's Country" after all.
I was afforded the opportunity to guide a fellow Warrior on the last evening while he attempted to harvest a buck with a crossbow. Even though we didn't get anything, we were able to watch several doe and turkey near our stand and were humiliated by a 5 point buck that bedded 80 yards from us for a while then fed no closer than 55 yards of our stand. No shot was presented but the experience was very very rewarding none the less.
I look forward to helping L.E.E.K. in any way I can. They will see me again for sure.
Sgt Jack Knouse
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
Just like the Quote Mr. Fisher uses in correspondence; Winston Churchill said we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. I will make a better effort in giving of my time and skills. After having been on the receiving end while at L.E.E.K., I have a new perspective of the value of the power of giving.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Change absolutely nothing!!!
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Pa Guard publication while at VA Hospital for treatment.
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