Boys Chasing the Birds!

By Kevin Bonnar


The Kicking Bear Wisconsin crew started off the month of April with some turkey hunting.  We were so blessed to have some really good hunting spots this year as two families opened up land for us. We spent the first Saturday of the month scouting and putting out ten blinds.  We also had some kiddos get sighted in with the shotgun for the hunt.  After a good day’s work we were all set and ready to go!

The next Friday we met up and headed up to the cabin, again we were so blessed by our good friend Rick opening up his place for us all to stay.  We had 10 hunters and 9 guides this year at this spot and we also had brother Sarge and his mentee Devin out hunting at another spot!!  We got settled in and then brother Chad walked us through a safety meeting.  Brother Dave brought up MREs and the boys were having a blast snacking and hanging out while also warming up mouth calls from Anthony Meyers Custom Turkey Calls that Chad brought up.  Camp was alive with the excitement of the big hunt the next morning!

The alarms went off at 3:30 and it was time to go get some turkeys!  We gathered for a prayer over our hunt, a quick check to make sure we had everything and then we were off.  Our awesome spots did not disappoint as we heard several birds gobbling as the sun came up.  And before too long we were seeing em!  A couple groups got off shots that morning, but just one brought home a bird from the first sit.  Brother Jim and his mentee Reese got a big old tom!  This completed what we call the “Kicking Bear Trifecta” for Reese, as he has now harvested deer, bear and turkey on KB hunts.  When we got back to camp Reese cleaned his bird and then most of the crew headed down to Rick’s fishing hole to spend the afternoon hooking panfish.  Was such a beautiful day to be together enjoying God’s creation.

We headed back out for the sundown sit with lots of kiddos wanting to be the next hunter bringing in a bird.  The afternoon was quite and the wind was howling a bit, but we were still catching some gobbles here and there.  Before too long we got word that one of our youngest hunters Jonny who was on his first KB hunt had gotten one!  He was out with new mentor Aaron and his son Luke.  Jonny made a great shot and harvested a big ole bearded hen.  Really cool having a blind full of Kicking Bear first timers finding success.  Then things got quiet again for awhile, was a beautiful day to be out though. Caden out with his mentor Austin got a shot at another bearded hen, but just missed this one.  Then as we were nearing the end of our sit we got word that Jonny’s big brother Gary had gotten a bird!  Gary made sure there would be more than one exciting story around the supper table back home by getting a real nice tom with mentor Chad.  This was really special because both brothers got a turkey, one on his first Kicking Bear hunt and Gary is on his last as he turns sixteen and graduates out of the youth hunts!  We all rolled back to camp and celebrated the harvest of two more awesome turkeys. Brother Rick had about the best burgers in the world ready for us and we also got to celebrate our friend Caden’s thirteenth birthday!! Was hard to settle in with so much to celebrate but we had one more opportunity in the morning, so off to bed.

The boys had a little less pep in their step on Sunday morning, but we weren’t going to miss one more chance at getting more birds.  We settled in and again the birds were gobbling.  We enjoyed another beautiful sunrise and a couple groups did see some birds, but nothing moved in close enough for us.  We eventually packed up and headed home.  We cleaned up camp and shared a time in prayer as mentee David closed us out by thanking God for such an incredible weekend together.

Later in the week Aaron sent word that him and his son Luke had not given up and Luke was able to harvest a big ole tom during a morning sit with Dad.  What an awesome memory.  

We are so thankful for the landowners who allowed us to hunt, for brother Rick giving us a place to stay and for all the Godly men who stepped up to help these young hunters chase their dreams!  

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Kicking Bear is so very thankful for another great year of camps, hunts and mentorship, thank you Jesus!!

Kicking Bear Ministry has been taking youth off the streets and changing their lives for over 20 years God has allowed us to keep His camps and outings completely free-of-charge to all participants due to the great partners He has brought to the ministry. Under the direction of God Kicking Bear has changed the lives of thousands of kiddos and their families!  Thank you for your prayers, partnership and support.

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