Going the Extra Mile

By Tom LaLond


The Kicking Bear youth deer hunts are always one of the most anticipated events on the calendar for the Kicking Bear crew and the boys and girls that participate. We are always striving to make each year be more impactful than the last, and many times we must step back and let Jesus take care of those details. One thing is for sure, when you choose to go the extra mile for someone, it will make a huge, positive impact on them. During this year’s Wisconsin special youth hunt, that’s exactly what a group of devoted mentors did.


It was a deer hunt that was successful in so many unique ways–from the group of 18 youth hunters being able to harvest 8 deer, to listening to an incredible message from Pastor Kim Buckman. We were also blessed with incredible hosts who opened their doors to allow everyone to have a warm and dry place to eat, sleep, and just hang out. We wish to personally thank Denny & Melanie Simon, Rick & Sara Teska, Darren Grefe, as well as Sherri and Kevin Wagner and Kevin and Leah Kubis of LTM Farms for your efforts and generosity in making this year’s youth hunt possible.

Many of the kids who attended were able to harvest their first deer including Will, Danil, Deatra, and Isaiah. This was a very special year for all the participants; one that will be remembered by the youth and adults alike for years to come. It definitely wasn’t an easy hunt, at least not at the start. Everyone battled through extreme weather conditions, including rain, cold, and saturated ground conditions on Saturday. Those lessons in being persistent allowed four kids to harvest their deer in the afternoon. Sunday provided us with much better, sunny weather and four more deer were harvested, with the biggest buck of the weekend being taken by Will and his mentor, Don Schroeder. It’s been an awesome experience for the mentors to be able to connect with their mentees during opportunities like these. The most memorable part of the 2019 hunting season was yet to come for several hunters.

Going the extra mile in any situation means outstanding effort from some very generous hearts. After the Wisconsin youth gun hunt, there were still a few kids who weren’t able to get a deer, even though they all hunted very hard. This weighed heavy on a couple mentors’ hearts and they put a plan together to give these kids another chance to hunt. This time they were going to hunt the other side of the river for some Minnesota whitetails. A special shoutout to Mission Crossbows and Rage Broadheads for providing top of the line equipment for this bowhunting adventure!

The mentors, General Darren Grefe and Alex Parsons, with their mentee hunters, Blake and Cole, set out Friday, with MXB-360’s in hand to try and fill their tags. Darren and Blake were talking before they went out to hunt, and said they liked the spot they were hunting so much that they figured they’d be tagged out early Friday evening. They certainly talked the talk, and also proved to walk the walk when Blake had a deer come within range and harvest it. There was excitement, high fives, and congratulations for a job well done! Although Blake is a very quiet young man, he lit up like the fireworks on the 4th of July after the shot and while recovering the animal.

Across this year’s hunts, many people were given the opportunity to go the extra mile and make an everlasting impact. Going the extra mile takes extra money, time, and sacrifice, and that’s what often makes it hard for many people to do.

Jesus did some very good things while he was here on earth like, healing the sick and blind or speaking life-changing truths to thousands, but it wasn’t until He went the extra mile by dying on the cross, that our salvation, through Jesus, was made complete. So please, DO NOT ever down-play the impact you can have on a person’s life when you go the extra mile for them.

Also, make sure that you do not doubt the power of Lord’s presence while you’re immersed in His creation when hunting and in the outdoors. Feel free to start your own youth hunt traditions and take someone God puts on your heart, or if you’d like some help, feel free to get in touch with us at Kicking Bear through email or social media.

God bless and be sure to go the extra mile for God’s glory.

God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.

Ephesians 2:8-10 NLT

Kicking Bear is now going into its 20th year–there are several new camps starting up in 2019 across the nation, and only God knows the heights to which He will take them.

Kicking Bear Ministry has been taking youth off the streets and changing their lives. 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. Of the 122 events and 76,000 people throughout the nation who were touched by Kicking Bear last year, below is yet another life-changing story.

We are able to continue to host free events to the public and change the lives of the ones who need us most because of the continued financial support of people like you. Please consider either a one-time, tax deductible, year-end gift or a monthly recurring donation by clicking the “Support Us” button.

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