By Joseph Pratt
Todd Dunn, of True Lure Dunn’s Whitetail Farm, is looking to start a new kind of special event for children with disabilities and health issues that will provide them the opportunity to experience the thrill of the hunt.
Dunn’s business collects deer urine used in hunting that is locally farmed in a half-mile caged area. Each year, the farmhands have to dart the growing males to administer their annual shots and to remove their antlers. The antlers are removed for the safety of the animals, since the growing males quickly become territorial with each other.
Since the deer have to be tranquilized anyway, Dunn decided it would be better to make it more meaningful, thus the idea to give kids with disabilities the experience of hunting an animal was born.
Dunn has many ideas about how he can grow the soon-to-be annual event, including video projects of the children, gifts of camouflaged attire, antler trophies and more. He will be working on adding more benefits as he goes along, but claims more sponsors could really help speed up the process
“The need for sponsors is big,” Dunn said. “My kids and I have done a lot to make it happen, but we still need a little help. Just getting an entire setup of camouflaged gear for a child can cost hundreds.”
Dunn is still accepting children to hunt with, but will need to be contacted within the next week or two, to ensure they have a spot, since he has limited deer to work with. Dunn said he is hosting the event to give the children an opportunity they wouldn’t otherwise have and to create forever memories with the family.
“We have to work with the deer, so why not let these kids enter the cage with friendly animals and skilled adults to give them the same chance everyone else has?” Dunn said. “You don’t really understand how much this can mean to a kid, until you see them spot their first deer and their eyes just grow giant and their heart starts pounding.”
Dunn is also hosting the event as an honor to his would-be daughter-in-law, Emily Patterson, who recently passed away in an accident.
“We are raising our grandson while his father is in Japan,” Dunn said. “We are doing this, partly, for our baby’s mom. She was a good kid who volunteered and impacted a lot of people.”
Dunn hopes to have family members show up to give the children support and he will also be rewarding the young hunters with deer antlers of their take down as a trophy.
The hunt is tentatively scheduled for mid-September, with dates being scheduled as families call. He is still asking for business sponsors and child nominations.
Reach Joseph Pratt at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.