Woman battling brain cancer is recipient of Jackie Bartels Memorial Hunt

Posted in: In the News

A special young woman in Iowa realized the dream of a lifetime.

Jena Bartenhagen was the recipient of Jackie Bartels Memorial hunt, a charity for terminally ill children that Safari Club International puts on.

Bartenhagen's passion for the great outdoors dates back to hunting and trapping trips with her dad and grandpa. Her introduction to elk hunting began one year ago with sighting and shooting instruction at the Broadmouth Canyon Ranch in Utah.

With that, they were off to find a herd of elk. Every moment in Utah was a blessing for Jena.

At 19 years old, Bartenhagen has been battling cancer much of her life. She had numerous surgeries to remove cancerous brain tumors.

Jena and her guide spotted a nice herd of elk the first day but they were out of shooting range. The next day, Jena was back at it and, after a long day, everything came together just before nightfall.

She made a great shot.

"My guide came running back and high-fived me," she said. "We gave each other hugs. 'One hit wonder' is what people are saying."

Fast forward one year to another surprise. Unbeknownst to Jen, Rob Beeson at the Iowa City Scheels arranged for her mount to be displayed in the store.

Jena was overwhelmed when she saw it and her friends were there to surprise her and share in her joy.

"I did it. I can't believe I did it," she said.

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