Beverly Woods Fishing and Hunting with Kids Foundation
Beverly Woods was a kind-hearted woman that spent her life helping others. Her son, Kent, started the Beverly Woods Fishing and Hunting with Kids Foundation in her honor. This foundation seeks out under-privileged kids, troubled youth, kids with disabilities, those with childhood and/or life threatening illnesses, and kids in single parent homes. The goal is to involve them in the great sport of fishing and/or hunting.
In 2016, this non-profit 501c3 foundation was able to make dreams come true for several kids from the State of Ohio. One youth chosen by the Foundation is Willie who suffers from a very aggressive form of Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy, confining him to a wheelchair. Not only is this disease terminal, he is also a quadriplegic who must be on oxygen 23 out of 24 hours a day.
Willie is a fisherman and loves getting outdoors as much as possible. Yes, it’s quite the undertaking, but he gets out as much as he can. Fishing is great, but Willie also had a dream to shoot a deer.
Willie had his first chance at a deer in 2015, but good ole’ mother nature intervened with a heavy downpour just minutes after the shot and needless to say, that deer was never recovered. Believe it or not, Willie took that experience in stride and left that event at least partially satisfied. The entire experience mattered more to him, far more than the end result.
Kent heard about Willie’s unsuccessful hunt, and just a few short months later announced plans to take Willie on a dream deer hunt at Twin Valley Outfitters in Chillicothe, OH. He also contacted TenPoint’s Barb Terry (Customer Relations/Training/Education) and TenPoint Pro Staffer Scott Meshew to assist with this once-in-a-lifetime crossbow hunt. The last key piece of the puzzle was adding Wayne Lach to the team to video and prepare a keepsake video for Willie.
Twin Valley Outfitters is a high fence hunting operation and Larry runs a tight ship. Regardless of what people think about high fence hunting, keep in mind this young man is terminal and had never harvested a deer.
The hunt was set to begin on August 11th and last up to two or three days. Everyone arrived on that hot steamy morning to get setup for the hunt. Willie got plenty of time to check out all of the mounts and sheds at the lodge and dream about shooting a big one! And you can’t forget, everything Willie did that day was captured on video – he was the leading man in this production.
Willie spent part of the morning and afternoon practicing with the modified Stealth FX4 crossbow that he would be using on his hunt. A 2nd scope was added to the crossbow for Barb or Scott to use while Willie was hunting. They can line up the sight on the vital area of the deer and let Willie know when to fire the bow. The crossbow was also fitted with a mechanical device that allowed him to press a computer mouse button to activate the trigger when given the “OK” to fire.
The temperature during the day reached a steamy 95-degrees with very little breeze. To make matters worse, several lines of torrential rains moved in one after another and the humidity soared – it was very jungle-like! Finally there was a break in the rain and the group loaded Willie, his motorized wheelchair, breathing equipment and the crossbow on a trailer. The trip to the hunting blind was short, and a fun ride for Willie.
Two blinds were set up approximately 20 yards apart for this hunt. Willie, Barb, Scott and a cameraman were in the main blind on the outer edge of a cornfield; and Kent, Larry, and a cameraman were in the other blind. Another Pro Staffer, Jamie made it to the location just in time to jump into the 2nd blind at the last minute.
Fitting four people in a hunting blind is a feat on a good day. With the addition of the over-sized wheelchair, the seating became very tricky. Willie had to angle the wheelchair and sit in the far back corner, luckily the mouse cord reached that far. Everyone else had to jockey for position with the hopes of getting even a small bit of breeze coming through a window.
It was only a short wait, thank goodness, and Willie said “shush, deer”. That’s when everyone saw the two does and a fawn. Only 30-seconds later, everyone’s attention turned to the bucks, yes bucks inside the wood line. Multiple bucks, not just one, to choose from! Once Willie identified his buck, each person in the blind worked together in harmony like a well-oiled machine! Barb adjusted the TenPoint crossbow, Scott sighted through the 2nd scope, the cameraman was ready & filming, and Willie (Mr. Nerves of Steel) waited for his signal to press the mouse button and fire the Stealth FX4! Oh, and the four guys in the next blind over barely controlled their excitement!
Given the nod to fire, Willie clicked the mouse button, activating the trigger. A 17-yard shot to the deer and a complete pass-through! Willie did it – on the first day! He achieved his dream of harvesting a deer, and not just any deer – it was a 30-point buck! We always hear about the infamous 30-pointer, but by golly, Willie actually got one! Every point was at least 1” or longer, and the deer was in velvet!
Willie’s deer only managed to go about 40-yards. After more video and pictures, Willie and his buck-of-a-lifetime were loaded onto the trailer for the trip back to the lodge.
Willie now has his dream deer hanging on his wall and has his keepsake video. Hopefully the memories of this hunt will stay with him, and everyone else, for a long, long time!