Sweet Point’s Setter Tales (S2, E4) Heroes Hunt

Sweet Point’s Setter Tales (S2, E4) Heroes Hunt


I’m Wade Kisner and I grew up hunting upland birds. Nothing’s better than chasing a couple English Setters called Sweet Lou and Adeline. Lou is a master hunter and Adeline is quickly learning the trade. These are some of our tales… Sweet Point’s Setter Tales is brought to you with support from our sponsors. I’ve been a member of the Linn County Pheasants Forever group for many years and I’m very proud to be the coordinator of the annual Heroes Hunt. Wade KIsner came to us a few years back about doing an event like this and Anything we can do to give back a little we’re definitely all about. (Wade) The Heroes Hunt allows military veterans to be taken into the field with professional elite gun dogs and guides. (Doug) It gives them a chance to get together. We’ll have veterans who are in their 20s and we’ll have veterans who are in their 70s or 80s. It’s an opportunity for us at Linn County Pheasants Forever to show our support to our veterans. Since I will not be guiding this year, I’ve turned those duties over to Travis. These veterans, they’ve sacrificed so much for us… to take them out in the field for half a day, I’m all about it. (Travis) It was 6:00 A.M. when we arrived at Highland. The air was still and the sunrise was beautiful. The vets arrived early and in large numbers. I think the first year there were 10 and now we have 43 people hunting in our hunt today. I got to meet some of the guys I was guiding. They seemed pretty enthusiastic about getting the day started. (Ryan) Don’t applaud me, I want to applaud all of you guys… My name is Ryan Giannini, and I am with Highland Hideaway Hunting here. We host the event, the heroes hunt, here with the Linn County Pheasants Forever chapter. It’s great to see an event like this grow. We’re just really happy to be involved, happy to host…. You know happy to be a part of it! (Kim) Thank you Father, for those who have fought for our country. Through their sacrifices we continue to enjoy the fruits and bounties of this great land. My friend Anthony Clinton is also guiding with me. I’m not sure how many of you have hunted with pointing dogs before. I know for some of you it’s been a while, but… time to go hunting! My name is Ron Aschbrenner. I’m a veteran and I’m a member of Pheasants Forever. I think this is a unique experience for first responders and veterans because like myself, I probably haven’t hunted pheasants for 15 years. Everybody bent over backwards to help me. (Travis) We made sure to slow the pace for them. I’m sure if the dogs could talk they’d tell us to move a little faster… (Camera) When’s the last time you went hunting? (Mike) ’94 (Camera) So, this the first time you’ve been out since ’94?
(Mike) Yeah! (Greg) No, I used to hunt a lot… and last time I hunted was 5 years ago in South Dakota. When I moved to Iowa in ’68 we had tons of birds up in Northern, Iowa, so yeah, it’s fun to get back out again. He’s awful birdy in here…
(Travis) As it often does, the day started out slow. For 20 minutes we walked, until all of a sudden… Well usually their heads kind of down and you can tell that their tail is really wagging. Usually it’s an indication they’re on to a bird. Obviously, once they’re on it, they’ll freeze. Everyone get their lines setup, Mike…
(Travis) The bird ran ahead to a field full of thick cover. We had our first kill of the day. This is why you have dogs, is to find down birds in cover this thick. You can’t see anything, that’s why you have them. Give! Give! Lou eventually brought me right to it and we checked to see if it was banded.
Not banded. Whoever got the banded bird had a chance of winning a shotgun …and that chance came moments later. Got it! Two quick kills, but no bands… As the day progressed the temperature rose drastically. The dogs quickly tired and so did some of us. We wanted everyone to get a bird before the session ended, so the pressure was on Anthony and myself. They realized that I had a little hard time walking and and one of the guides Actually held me up and stayed with me. This is one heck of a group of good people. Finally, Ron had a chance. (Ron) Oh! (Travis) But, it just wasn’t his day. (Ron) Couldn’t have had a better one… We knew we needed to swap out the dogs, so we all piled into the ATV. We took Ron back as well. (Ron) It was just unbelievably. Really a good experience. (Travis) It was time for the next session.
(Anthony) Doing good, it’s heating up a little bit. Dogs are working good. We just did a fresh change, so we’ve got some new legs on the ground right now. I got my year and a half old dog, Darby… along with her mother, Addie and then one of Anthony’s roommates dogs. It’s pretty cool seeing your dog, who was a puppy last season, out there on point. Well, Darby is still learning. She’s, like I said, she’s only a year and a half. She’s still kind of figuring out the whole hunting thing. If you ever let your guard down the birds will keep you on your toes. (Steve) Yeah, there were two roosters in that group. One went to the left and one went to the right. I knocked down the one that went to the left and John got the one that went back. (John) I saw the other one headed back behind us, so I waited until I made sure that everybody was cleared it was a safe shot, Took the shot, and got mine and watched his fall right behind me. Both of them have bands, both roosters. (Travis) Right as the Sun started beating down on us the action picked up. There were more birds than we knew what to do with. Couldn’t have asked for a better session for these guys. As a part of the hunt we always try to accommodate any veterans that might have some kind of physical restriction. This year, for the first time, we had somebody that was really interested in hunting… but they were only able to walk with the use of a cane. So, what we decided to do was to get an ATV that I would take him and drive him Hopefully behind the dogs and get him close enough that we could get him a shot. My name is Vinny Russo and I did 20 and a half years in the Marine Corps. I fought in: Iraq, Afghanistan, Albania Macedonia… a little bit in the Horn Africa, and with a sister company in Bosnia. The Marine Corps was the best thing that ever happened to me. I felt that God made me to be a Marine and I loved every minute of it. It’s an honor to be a United States Marine. (John) I went in the military right out of high school. Did eight and a half years active Navy. I had a short break in service and then joined the Iowa, Army National Guard. Did communications got deployed to Afghanistan and was retired couple years ago. {This is} The first time I’ve hunted in 30 years. (Travis) For this session we put Darby’s brother, Major, out in the field. Immediately, Vinnie had an opportunity… Walked in to do the flush and even though I was expecting it the hen took me by surprise. (Vinne) Gosh darn it! (Wade) We really want to get you a bird.
(Vinne) Tell me about it! (laugh) I really want to get a bird! (Travis) Even though it was a miss, Vinnie still had a good attitude. Watching the dogs is beautiful… and then watching the birds fly, and me miss, not so beautiful. We’re still finding some birds, but we just haven’t had the luck of hitting them at this point, but… still out, dogs are still working, but it’s just so dang hot today! After two misses you hope the third one’s the charm. (Anthony) You see it on the ground right there?
(John) I don’t. How far out?
(Anthony) You keep walking… by about a quarter… three yards. (John) Lead him enough! Vinnie finally got his opportunity… (Wade) Got it! Got it! Alriiiiiiiiiight! (Wade)Bring it in! Bring it in! Bring it in! (Travis) Banded!
(Vinne) Yes, banded! It’s between you and me now! (Vinne) Thank you so much! (Travis) And immediately another opportunity soon arose… (Wade) There it is. There it is! (Travis) He missed, but we saw where the rooster landed. So, we moved up again to try and flush it out. And with that, Vinnie bagged his second bird. (Vinnie) Don’t have words to tell you how amazing this was. Freakin’ wicked! The day ended. Everyone felt a great sense of satisfaction… especially Vinnie. Straight adrenaline. It was awesome! Awesome, I can’t I can’t even tell you how good that felt? I had a blast I did a lot of walking and I did a lot of missing… but we got a bird, so I’m pretty happy. (Vinnie) I was pretty much watching the dogs more than I was trying to concentrate on shooting. Cuz these dogs are unbelievable. You know I was telling everybody it’s so different being out in the civilian world now, but this kind of like took me right back. To being in the military getting some lead downrange. It was awesome! (John) I had a blast absolutely. (Anthony) Well, when you can take somebody out and watch them experience their first bird in years or first bird maybe ever. So, it really brings things together, puts things in perspective for us guides. (Wade) I’ve had a couple of the guys, this morning — One of the gentleman says that just being in the field brought back a lot of memories of him when he was a young man hunting in Iowa. That was enough for him just to kind of experience being outdoors again. Yeah, that’s why we do it. (Travis) These guys have given up so much to protect our freedoms, and it’s easy to take that for granted. Being out there with them, getting to known them, hearing their stories and seeing the joy on their face made it well worth it. (Jeff) I think the goal of this hunt is support of the individuals who have served to make our country safe for us to be in today. (Don) I’ve… today? I don’t care if I shoot a pheasant or not! I just enjoy going out there with the dogs watching the dogs work. (Kim) I would like to encourage any veteran or first responder in the future to come out and participate in this hunt. (Scott) It was just kind of relieving and refreshing to be out there to be able to Just kind of serve these guys because they’ve been serving for us You know so many years in the military And it was just one way I felt I could give back to them just a little something. (Vinnie) Anybody that comes to this is gonna feel healed up in some way, shape, or form. Hi, I’m Wade Kisner with Sweet Point’s Setter Tales. Do you have an interesting story idea for a future episode? We’d love to hear about it! drop us a line at www.sweetpointsetters.com (Special thanks to Adam Orton Videography and Bus-Stop Productions)