A disabled veteran hunts his first buck on a special hunting trip with help from his friend.
The News-Star reported the story of disabled Air Force veteran Jack Fanning, who was disappointed not to kill a deer during special hunting trip last December with 20 other Wounded Warriors in northeastern Louisiana. But thanks to his friend, Bill Petrus, Manning got a second chance to get the buck he always wanted.
Hunting is a tricky task for Fanning who became disabled from a military training exercise. The disabled veteran hunts with a special device that allows him to shoot his gun, which is mounted to his wheelchair, by blowing through a straw. The special device provides Fanning with a second shot at deer hunting, but it can be cumbersome in the field.
Read about another disabled vet who uses a similar device to hunt.
"We had a couple of deer come in and then the deer heard the motors that he uses to aim and they ran off," Fanning's friend Bill Petrus said.
Petrus, being the great friend he is, wanted to give Fanning a second chance at killing his first buck, so he made some special arrangements. Petrus called on a local portable deer blind manufacturer to build Fanning a custom blind that's wheelchair accessible with wider doors and a lower window to provide him with better aim. The team that built the blind, along with Petrus and Fanning, then took the blind up the Mississippi River by barge to Petrus's deer lease.
Before the men could get the custom blind and Manning setup, deer began to gather in the area. Fanning spotted a small buck, but waited and ended up with a choice trophy, an 8-point deer with a 138-inch rack.
"In the war, Fanning was always on the front line," Petrus told the News-Star. "He is a true hero. He went from a person who can do anything and is not scared of anything to someone who has to depend on others for everything, but he still has such a great attitude."
But Petrus's kindness didn't end there. He visited Fanning at his home in Fort Worth and surprised him with the rack mounted and the deer meat processed.
We're happy to hear Fanning got the buck he always wanted.