Michigan Operation Freedom Outdoors gets hunters back outdoors

Contact: Tom Jones, 734-612-6677
Agency: Natural Resources

Nov. 1, 2017

Hunter in wheelchair next to harvested deer and accessible hunting blindHunters with health challenges from all corners of Michigan joined Michigan Operation Freedom Outdoors Oct. 19-22 for the Independence Hunt at the Leonard Preserve in Manchester and Sharonville State Game Area in Grass Lake, Michigan. 

A few of the hunters participating in the event – a firearm deer hunt for wounded veterans and others with disabilities – successfully harvested deer. Many others saw deer, but chose not to take a shot. All hunters reported beautiful conditions, great camaraderie and new friendships.  

“From sunrise to sunset each day, this year’s Independence Hunt was a great success,” said Michigan Operation Freedom Outdoors President Tom Jones. “Good friends, good hunting, and many new memories was the theme of the weekend.” 

Participating hunters had access to assistive resources to help facilitate the hunt. Assistive resources secured by Michigan Operation Freedom Outdoors partners for this hunt included hunting guides who assisted hunters throughout their hunt, tracked wheelchairs, pop-up and permanent hunting blinds, access to improved trails and transportation assistance. 

MiOFO would like to thank the following organizations for their assistance with the Independence Hunt event:

  • Manchester Market for donations of breakfast and lunch to the participants, guides and visitors through all four days of the hunt.
  • The Chelsea Comfort Inn for providing reduced-rate lodging for some of the out-of-town hunters.
  • Washtenaw County Parks for providing additional land for the hunt.
  • Tecumseh Tent Rental for a dry place for hunters, friends and family to gather.
  • Michigan Outdoor Mobility for Action Trackchair assistance.

Those who have health challenges that keep them from participating in outdoor activities and who would like some help getting back outdoors are encouraged to make a reservation for their next outdoor activity at www.miofo.org.

Michigan Operation Freedom Outdoors is a cooperative partnership between the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Eisenhower Center, Garmin, Camp Liberty, the Brain Injury Association of Michigan, the Passing Along the Heritage Foundation, the Safari Club International Foundation, the Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, the Disabled American Veterans, Michigan Outdoor Mobility and others. Its mission is to provide improved outdoor recreation opportunities for wounded veterans and individuals with health challenges and to coordinate a support network that facilitates their recovery through connecting with nature.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.

Accompanying photos are available below for download. Suggested captions follow.

Independence_Hunt_success: Some lucky hunters harvested deer during the Independence Hunt.

Visiting_at_ Sharonville: Most hunters enjoyed the company of others and the beautiful fall weather during the Independence Hunt at Sharonville State Game Area./