November 19, 2014

To hunt or to fish


Injured veterans can now enjoy both

By Cheryl McCormack

BHG News Service

Many injured veterans no longer have the physical attributes, nor can they make the connections necessary, to complete a successful deer hunt. North Dakota’s Injured Military Wildlife Project (IMWP) hopes to change that.

The program provides hunting and fishing opportunities to military personnel who have been injured in the line of duty.

The IMWP is fashioned after the Wounded Warrior Project and since the fall of 2011, it’s provided injured service members a chance to continue hunting or fishing as they once did.

President Dan Dolechek explains how it works. "We look for injured veterans – one requirement is they have to have a Purple Heart – and we provide them with an outside experience. We take them out and let them shoot a deer. If they fill their deer tag early, we give them the chance to shoot a pheasant or a coyote. We’ve mainly been hunting but we hope to take someone fishing soon."

The IMWP takes care of all of the details – location of the hunt, lodging and meals. They also provide the actual assistance before, during and after the hunt.

Dean Bergstedt, Washburn, said, "The organization pays for everything. The deer is processed free of charge and the hunters are given an engraved knife and a jacket." Heroes have even been flown in from other states, with the organization covering the travel expenses.

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