About 60 sponsors and wounded warriors showed up Saturday morning about 7:30 a.m. for the first pheasant hunt of 2024 at Mont Royal Plantation in Swainsboro. The weather was unsettled, and rain was falling when most arrived, but it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the participants. The warriors and children and grandchildren enjoyed a breakfast of sausage-egg casserole with grits and biscuits and sweet cakes with coffee and/or orange juice prepared by volunteers. Afterwards, WWR President Terry Reynolds conducted a safety meeting and instructions for the event before the shooters took to the field. Safety is always stressed at all WWR shooting events.
There was a short delay before shooters took to the field to allow the weather to stabilize, and only a light rain was falling when the hunters left for the field. They were on their stands a little after 9 a.m. and shooting began shortly thereafter. Accuracy was mixed, but some shooters showed a remarkable proficiency. However, the primary goals of the event included spending time with other wounded warriors and family members and enjoying a beautiful morning outdoors, and those goals were met.
A wounded warrior grandfather, Tom Smith had the pleasure of seeing his eight-year-old grandson, Renley Glover, take his first pheasant. The bird had spurs that some turkey gobblers would be proud of, and Renley might have the spurs removed and polished to go on a key chain or leather necklace. Wounded warrior Sean Falcon’s 11-year-old son, Easton, also took his first pheasant. Coa Corbett, the 15-year-old granddaughter of WWR Board Member Ronnie McCall, of Reidsville, had the opportunity to work her Brittany females, Cocoa and Fisher, in the role of locating and retrieving downed birds. Coa’s mother, Casey Corbett, estimated that Cocoa retrieved at least 15 downed pheasants. Although Fisher, her youngest dog, did not retrieve any birds, she pointed several and helped hunters locate some lost birds. Coa says she will do better next time. No one enjoyed the day more than the youngsters.
When hunters returned about 11:30 a.m., Woody Nasworthy sang his renditions of “Take My Hand Precious Lord” and “Precious Memories”, and Reverend Todd Williams delivered a message concerning the abiding love of Jesus Christ. Lunch was catered by Ware’s Barbeque of Swainsboro and included a delicious half grilled chicken with beans, potato salad and string beans and banana pudding and cake.
It was a good day for warriors and sponsors. Wounded Warrior Retreat, Inc. is a faith-based organization that provides outdoor events and faith-based counseling for wounded military combat veterans. Outdoor activities include deer, turkey, quail, and rabbit hunts and salt and freshwater fishing events. It has served hundreds of Wounded Warriors since it was organized as a 401-c-3 organization in 2010.
Wounded Warrior Retreat Inc. will be hosting two more pheasant shoots in 2024. One will be held on January 27, and the final hunt will be on February 24. If anyone would like to be a part of one or both of those hunts, contact Terry Reynolds at 478-494-3758. Thank you for your support.