Pleasant day for pheasant display

Zach Felty for the Portsmouth Daily Times

Ready for the release at the 1st True Lure Pheasant Hunt

Ready for the release at the 1st True Lure Pheasant Hunt

The smell of charcoal and the chatter of excited hunters filled the air on a hillside in West Portsmouth Saturday afternoon. The breeze carried the remaining leaves from their branches softly to the ground. After a free lunch, a short prayer, and the playing of the National Anthem, the event was underway. Dozens of hunters gathered in the field in anticipation, shotguns in hand, anxiously awaiting the birds to be released. The 1st True Lure Pheasant Hunt had officially begun.

True Lure has hosted several hunting and fishing events over the previous nine years, such as a trout derby and a no-kill deer hunt. These events were created and designed for disabled people of all ages, as well as disabled veterans. True Lure provides a safe environment for these people to get out and try things they may not have been able to experience before.

This event is named after Doug Whitman, a veteran of the Vietnam War. Whitman was wounded serving overseas during his time in the service. Whitman attended the event and was excited about the activities that would soon unfold. Also in attendance was Alf Bricker, Vietnam veteran and guest of honor. Although Bricker says he hasn’t hunted in years, he said he was looking forward to having the opportunity to get out and do something he loves.

“Dunn does such a good job, it’s unreal,” Whitman said. “Nobody else does anything like this in the community, and this guy goes out of his way to do this. I think it’s the best thing to happen in this area in a long time.”

Although the pheasant hunt was a first for the group, Todd Dunn of True Lure says he hopes it’ll become an annual attraction.

“It’s going to be good. This will be our first pheasant hunt, but we hope to do this year after year,“ said Dunn. “We just keep trying to do more and more with the disabled kids and vets. It makes them happy when they get a chance to do something they’ve never had the chance to do. “

Dunn said this event would not have been possible without the support of several community organizations.

County commissioners Bryan Davis and Scottie Powell made an appearance at the event. Davis shares his thoughts on what the hunt means for the community.

“What they do here is just amazing. This new hunt is unique and there’s nothing like it around here,” said Davis. “Most people never get an opportunity to do anything like this and now you have our disabled children and our disabled veterans getting an opportunity to do something amazing. (Dunn) works hard to make this happen and he doesn’t do it for his own glory, he does it for the kids. I’m just glad to be a part of it and be able to witness it. It’s a great thing for our community. Our veterans deserve it and our kids deserve it,” he continued.

“It’s all about getting to hunt and have a good time, that’s our goal,” says Dunn.

Ready for the release at the 1st True Lure Pheasant Hunt for the release at the 1st True Lure Pheasant Hunt

Zach Felty for the Portsmouth Daily Times