Purple Heart Recipient bags 180-pound bear

Ginger said, “My father served in the Army, and he and Grandpa taught me how to hunt. I have been in a stand since I was two years old, and I loved every minute of it. I got to do bear baits with my father and sat with my brother on my first bear hunt. Our family is all hunters, and it’s how we feed our families. I thought it was amazing I was going to donate my bear tag to a purple heart veteran and cried because it made me feel so awesome to be able to give back to someone who had done so much for us!”

Around 2:30 pm on Monday, Mike and his guide entered their ground blind located in a woody area with two ATV trails leading to their bait. Unfortunately, it started raining early in the afternoon and continued throughout the rest of the day, and they did not see a bear.

The following day, Patrick saw a bear had hit the bait around 12:30 pm on his trail cam, and within an hour, the guys were back in the blind. “We sat there and didn’t see anything, and time drifted on then, all of a sudden we had a bear come in on one of the trails. I couldn’t get the gun in the bipod to meet up, and in a blink of an eye, the bear was gone.”

Mike said, “Just before 6 pm, I saw something black moving in the woods! Then the bear put his head out and looked both ways out of curiosity and then came out and stopped. I looked through the scope of my Winchester 30-06 rifle that rested on my bipod. I was excited, and my heart was beating a million miles a minute! I used a technique I learned in the military of taking slow deep breaths, relaxing as I breathed out, then I squeezed the trigger, and it ran about 20 yards into the woods and fell over. We waited 15 minutes and tracked it into the woods and were surprised it was the bear we had seen an hour earlier.”

Ginger added, “I was at work and on break when I got the text with the picture of Mike and the bear, and I started crying again. The feeling I got was better than the day I got my bear; it was the best feeling ever! I am looking forward to getting the word out to other bear hunters to donate their bear license and enjoy the experience generosity brings.”

“The best part of my bear hunt was getting the call from Ginger and hearing the excitement in her voice. I’m looking forward to meeting her one day,” said Mike as he reflected on an incredible day.

Much gratitude to Ginger Henck for donating her bear license and Patrick Carlson, Chris and Sawyer Spaight, Greg Chaffer, and Hoss Covey for their preparation and participation in this memorable hunt. Congratulations to Mike on his trophy bear and thank you for your service in helping keep our country safe! God bless!

If you are interested in getting involved or know of a deserving child or veteran, don’t hesitate to contact USSA.