Harry, who had just turned ten, shared, “I was happy when my dad told me about going on a deer hunt because it will be my first time hunting.”
In the early afternoon, Harry and his dad, Chad, arrived at Wilderness Whitetails in Rosholt, WI. Once they met their guide, Mike Kawlewski, they headed right out to target practice since Harry’s anticipation had risen on their drive there.
Mike drew a deer on a large piece of cardboard and placed a red dot in the center as the target. He then asked Harry to aim at the target with an unloaded rifle, instructing him to focus on aiming and squeezing the trigger. Once Harry felt confident he was ready, Mike loaded the gun, and Harry fired his first shot, which hit half an inch above the bullseye. The second shot landed right next to the first hole, creating a distance of about one and a half inches between them. Harry was pleased and said, “Hitting the target twice and seeing how close the shots were made me feel good.” After confirming the young man’s accuracy, they returned to the lodge to relax.
Chad commented, “When we received the medical diagnosis for Harry and his elder brother, Ivan, I wondered if they could climb into a hunting stand, hold a gun, and manage a firearm effectively due to their different muscle structure. However, despite the ongoing challenges that may arise, this hunt was presenting an opportunity for Harry to achieve things he never thought he could accomplish on his own.”
Around 4 pm, they traveled in a Kawasaki UTV side-by-side to a raised box stand overlooking a food plot. The stand was deep inside the woods, surrounded by hardwood trees like oak and maple and softwood trees like pine. The leaves of the trees had fallen and turned into beautiful autumn colors, creating a magnificent sight.
Mike brought a taller chair for Harry to help him get a better view looking out the window. The chairs in the blind weren’t high enough for him. Once Harry was comfortably seated in the center, his dad on the left and Mike on the right, Chad reached into the backpack and handed Harry a pair of binoculars. However, before Chad could take out his pair, Harry beamed, “There’s a deer!” Chad quickly grabbed his binoculars and looked out of the 4′ by 1 1/2 feet opening. He was shocked to see a deer within acceptable shooting range from the blind.
Harry explained, “The deer came out from the trees to my left and onto a trail.”
Mike quickly placed the .243 Ruger rifle in the gunrest while Harry peered through the scope. Whispering to Harry, Mike asked, “Can you see the deer?” Harry replied with a confident “Yes.”
Mike then inquired, “Is the deer centered in the crosshairs?” Harry confirmed that it was. “Are you aiming above the shoulder?” he asked again. Harry replied with another confident “Yes.”
Mike then said, “I’m turning the safety off now.” Harry nodded in response. “Alright, Harry, take the shot.”
Harry made a perfect shot within seconds, and they watched as the deer ran towards the pine trees. Harry exclaimed, “He’s stopping… he’s stopping!” Mike excitedly replied, “He just went down, buddy… he just went down!”
Harry’s excitement was palpable as he turned to Mike and gave him and his dad a high-five. Mike recounted how Harry jumped out of his chair, eagerly wanting to see his deer. “His dad was amazed it had happened so quickly and felt really happy and pumped.”
Harry exclaimed, “I was so excited that my entire body was shaking. After leaving the stand, we followed the trail of blood and found my deer.”
He counted the points on the buck, and it had 12, the main frame 10, and a couple of kickers.
Mike shared that his hands were shaking with excitement when Harry shot the deer. The most exciting part was guiding Harry’s hunt and creating a memory that would last him a lifetime. The experience was “Short and sweet and worked out perfectly.”
Chad said, “The best part was seeing that look on Harry’s face, how excited he was, and how proud he was after getting that buck. He asked me if his buck was bigger than his brother. So there is sibling competition there. I could see the confidence level improve in his expressions. Mike was exceptional from the target shooting instruction and throughout the hunt. The Flees family and everyone there were incredible. We felt like we were part of their family.”
When asked what the best part of the hunt was, Harry said excitedly, “Getting a big buck!!” Everyone was super nice, and they helped me.”
We thank the Flees Family, Wilderness Whitetails, Mike Kawlewski, and USSA Donors for giving Harry an unforgettable trophy hunt. Congratulations to the young man for bagging a 12-point buck and creating unforgettable memories with his father, Mike, and newfound friends. God bless!