Wounded Warriors go snow goose hunting at local club
Snow goose hunting is special to a certain group of hunters.
“This is a like a bucket list hunt,” said Staff Sgt. Jonathan Thomas. “I’ve got some very great memories here.”
Thomas was one of six soldiers from the Wounded Warriors Project out of Kentucky and Tennessee who went snow goose hunting in an underground pit at the Grassy Lake Hunting Club near Ware on Thursday, Feb. 9.
“We’ve been out here before light and after dark the last two days,” Wounded Warrior Shawn Flanagan said. “It gets us together with people we’ve got a lot in common with.”
The group was participating in the last day of a two-day hunt at the club. The hunters harvested six snow geese on the first day and 20 on the second day.
“I’ve killed my first duck and goose here,” Thomas noted. “I love it here because you don’t have to worry about someone looking at you differently.”
It’s a chance for the medically retired soldiers to get together to do something they all enjoy.
“I’m glad we have the opportunity to do it,” Sgt. Everett Redner said about the hunt. “I’ve met new people every time I’ve come here.”
At least one of them credits his better half with introducing him to the program.
“My wife talked me in to this because I wouldn’t be able to do this if we didn’t go to something like this,” Kyle Sexton said. “This is my first time with snows hunting. I really enjoy it. These people make you feel welcome. Every person at Grassy Lake is amazing.”
To some of them, the hunting takes a back seat.
“Hunting is secondary here,” Patrick Howland said. “The camaraderie here is great. I don’t think we’ve ever had a bad time here.”
An organizer of the Wounded Warrior hunt, Tom Goetz of the Grassy Lake Hunting Club, said he believes the 7,449 snow goose decoys they put out in the field for snow goose season is possibly the largest spread in Southern Illinois.