If you’ve ever spent time in a duck blind or a deer stand you’ve no doubt experienced extended periods of time in deep thought. You may have had regrets of getting up so early in the morning in less than desirable conditions or you may have simple sat still and contemplated the meaning of life. Or, like Jeff Warren did one such morning, considered how wonderfully made nature is and that everyone should have the opportunity to experience its beauty. He imagined that a simple walk through the forest, let alone the thrill of hunting or fishing, would be impossible for those with disabilities. It was on that morning, with these thoughts occupying his time, that Jeff felt led by God to work out a plan. A plan that would give deserving young people the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors through organized hunting and fishing trips free of charge to them and their parents. A plan that would make special arrangements to accommodate the particular needs of each child. A plan that was not only safe and enjoyable but would provide a lifetime memory. A Dream Hunt.
Seven years and over 800 kids later, The Dream Hunt Foundation has afforded lodging, travel, food, outfitting and hunting equipment to kids ages 8 to 18. Each child is accompanied by a hunting guide, a camera man and the property owner. Dream Hunt has partnered with multiple area hospitals including Shriner’s Hospital in Shreveport to identify candidates for these hunts. Duck blinds and dear stands, donated by Bossier Parish Sheriff Julian C. Whittington, are specially adapted to meet the needs of each hunter. Hunting equipment is modified so that every hunter can experience the exhilaration of “the hunt.”
What makes the Dream Hunt Foundation so special is the volunteers and its patrons. Each hunt has over 100 people giving their time and energy to these kids and their families. Dream Hunt has gone as far as Nebraska for turkey and will soon be going on an alligator hunt with the popular television show “Swamp People.” Public schools can also request school field trips. Generous businesses like Bellevue Meat Processing of Haughton, LA and Stonewall Deer Processing in Stonewall will take care of the deer meat free of charge.
Anyone can become a volunteer or a patron (or both). Thursday, September 12th, you can attend the annual fundraiser at Horseshoe’s Riverdome starting at 5:30 or visit dreamhunt.tv.
You can also email Jeff Warren at [email protected] Always up for the next challenge, Jeff’s long-term goal for the Dream Hunt Foundation is see a Chapter in every city that has a children’s hospital. If anyone can do it, these folks can.