Im a wounded warior and the guys at leek were great not just the volenter's the whole comunity steped up and helped out I had a blast and cant say thank u enough to everyone at leek
I have been invited to the upcoming Blackbear hunt this month. I have been in contact with Ed for about 8 months and am really looking forward to the trip. Everything I have read and after emails and speaking with Ed, I know this will be a trip that will be a lasting memory. Being Handicap accessible is going to be a huge help that I normally wouldn't have while hunting.
Our son had an awesome experience of hunting at Leek on the spring turkey hunt. He was invited by his neighbor, Marty Mescall. James lost both his legs in '08 and arrived home from hospitals in March and was so ready to get out in the woods. Leek provided a Trac-chair for our son to manuever where no wheelchair could get him. His broad smile lit the whole country-side with the freedom of joining into hunting that he so longed for.Before his injury James was an avid hunter and fisherman.While at Leek he met other Wounded Warriors who overcame obstacles of war injuries and broadened their hope of doing something that made them feel normal once again. The Leek Foundation opened the door of new beginnings with their willingness to get James in the woods. He was so excited to return in the fall for the black powder hunt. He talked of his experience often and looked forward to meeting up with more warriors to share his hunts with. It is with great sadness that we share our sons shattered dreams at this time. James lost his life in a terrible accident at an amusement park in July. We reflect now on all the good memories that made our son beam with excitement and such anticipation. The Leek preserve is a wonderful organization of volunteers who truly care for wounded people to get beyond their disabilities and explore all the endless boundaries that nature provides thru people with heart. We tell so many soldiers of this wonderful treasure in the beautiful hills of Pa. May God bless everyone who helps make this possible. It gives us such happiness to know our son took part in a wonderful experience outside the walls of therapies, Drs. and military regimen. We will continue to support such a wonderful organization thru our healing as it helps us to know we the joy it brings all who participate. Thank you Leek for what you gave to our son. John and Nancy Hackemer
I am writing this about my husband, who was a Wounded Warrior. In order to try and get help my husbad resocialize, I started looking for hunting and fishing trips that were sponsored. I stumbled upon LEEK by accident. Mr. Fisher & the LEEK family have been amazing. Jim had a wonderful time & enjoyed himself immensely. It was more than the cool free stuff & the hunting though. It was more about the understanding & compassion shown to the Wounded Warriors that made the difference. My husband spoke of one instance where he had a "melt down" while riding on the bus going somewhere. In an instant, the bus was stopped, my husband was ministered to without pity or derision or scorn. His needs were met & his transportation needs were still met. He was still able to participate in the event. So many people don't understand head injuries & PTSD. These folks do. It helps that Ed & his brother are ex-military. They've been there & done that before so they "get it". They are showing understanding and appreciaton for the Soldier when they didn't get it for their service. Thank God our Nation has learned to differentiate between the Soldier & the war. It is because of people like Ed Fisher & the LEEK foundation this has happened. I can't thank them enough. Words just don't cover how we appreciate them.
I can not give enough praise to the opportunity they have provided, the fantastic setting of being deep in Penn's Woods, the wonderful volunteers, comfortable accommodations, great local food, and the stress free fluidity in logistics.
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