Updated: June 13, 2013
Friends: Do you know an individual who is deserving of the “Living the Dream” Hunt? The year has flown by and now is the time to get your nomination in!
Read more about last year’s Living the Dream hunt:
Every Michigan hunter dreams of large necked deer with pearly white antlers coming out in their shooting lane. We live for October, November, and December. For many hunters; however, those dreams are often lost. Jay’s Sporting Goods, Gateway Gobbler NWTF Chapter, and many community businesses came together five years ago and began the “Living the Dream” program. The Living the Dream program enables us to share our dreams with others who may never have the opportunity to experience a big buck hunt. The 2012 Living the Dream Hunt was one for the memory book, and we’re excited to open nominations for the 2013 hunting season.
This year’s hunt was awarded to Jeffrey Meihls from Owosso, Mich. For Jeffrey Meihls, a 15-year old from Owosso, the event was life changing. A friend of the family stopped in Jay’s and picked up a nomination form, and that’s how Jeffrey’s dream began. After a horrifying firearm accident during his first year hunting in 2011, Jeffrey lost a quarter of his right arm. He adjusted to the loss of his arm, and through a prosthetic, Jeffrey now has two functional arms again. He does not see himself as disabled. He is a normal, active young man with a never give up attitude. Countless doctors appointments, surgeries, and physical therapy have allowed Jeffrey to live a normal life. His father, Robert, is simply amazed at Jeffrey’s progress and his determination.
After the nomination deadline ended, the Living the Dream Committee comprised of partners and local business entities met to review the nominations. Jeffrey’s story was the most compelling, heart-wrenching, and exciting. The Meihls family hunts private farm land in the Owosso area and have never had the opportunity to watch that many deer. Once the decision was made, Jeffrey’s parents were notified that he was selected for the 2012 Living the Dream Hunt. With all parties notified, planning the surprise was next. Jeffrey and his family were invited to the Doherty Hotel for a dinner with Living the Dream committee representatives where Jeffrey learned of the hunt. Besides a dream hunt at Marissa’s Deer Farm in Clare County, Jeffrey was also provided with a $1500 Gift Card. During his trauma, all of his new hunting clothes were cut off in the ambulance leaving him devastated as the clothes he wore carried a huge sentimental value. His coveralls were a gift from his grandfather and his jacket had been worn by his dad during his youth. Jeffrey was able to buy new gear and was also given a new crossbow. And, all of this was a complete surprise to Jeffrey. After the announcement at dinner, tears streamed from the family’s faces. What a dream come true! What a wonderful way to help Jeffrey continue to overcome obstacles and to help him feel good about hunting again. After dinner, shopping ensued. Jeffrey was overwhelmed and in complete awe.
Then, it was time to wait – Time to wait for the hunting day. On October 19, 2012, Jeffrey headed to the woods at Marissa’s Deer Farm with Chad Stearns and his father. The day was filled with big bucks, does, and fawns. The excitement was intense all day long. Finally, early evening hours began, and a shooter approached. With the assistance of a gun turret attachment that attached to Jeffrey’s prosthetic limb, Jeffrey pulled the trigger on a great buck. Hearts pounded. Jeffrey knew he made a good shot, but the deer ran. After a wait and a quick review of the video, the trek began to find Jeffrey’s trophy. Once they spotted the deer, Jeffrey’s elation and emotions took over. With many tears, hugs, high-fives, and sighs of relief, Jeffrey had taken a great buck. Stearns, whose kids also hunt, noted that the event “changed his life.” He explained, “it’s great to shoot a deer, but it’s even more exciting to take a kid hunting or fishing. He continued, “seeing the elation and excitement and turning a very negative experience into a positive one is what it is all about.” Jeffrey’s 10 point buck, weighed in at 210 pounds and scored 130 4/8. Congratulations Jeffrey, and thank you for changing so many of our lives, and more so, welcome to the Jay’s Sporting Goods family.
Do you know a deserving Michigan hunter who you would like to nominate? Email me at email@example.com or stop by the Clare or Gaylord store to pick up a nomination form. We’re excited for 2013 and to be able to offer such a wonderful program to deserving outdoorsmen and women!
The Living The Dream Hunt is made possible through the help of many individuals and organizations. Thank you all for supporting such a fabulous program.
|Ace Hardware of Clare
|Chad Bailey – Hudalla & Associates|
|Dairy Phil Ice Cream Parlor|
|Doug Reiff – H&G Marketing|
Jay’s Sporting Goods
Marissa’s Deer Farm
|Lake State Railway|
|Letherer Truss Inc|
|Matt – T&M Vending|
|Mid Michigan Community College|
|Northern Dry Bulk|
|Snowsnake Ski & Golf|
Stephenson-Wyman Funeral Home
RJ Meyer – The Trophy Room Taxidermy