By Greg Duncan, SCI Mississippi Chapter
One of the major humanitarian outreach programs supported by Safari Club International is working with wounded veterans and Purple Heart recipients from all conflicts. The Georgia and Mississippi Chapters of SCI, Mississippi Order of the Purple Heart, Bill Whitmire VFW Post 3936, and Cooper Yerger American Legion Post 28 joined forces and officially declared war on the whitetail deer in Clarksdale, Mississippi, December 1-3, 2017, at the Fourth Annual Mississippi SCI Wounded Veteran Deer Hunt.
Nineteen Purple Heart recipients from Mississippi and Alabama enjoyed a weekend of entertainment and whitetail deer hunting. Purple Heart recipients are veterans who have truly affirmed their willingness to put their lives on the line for the sake of freedom. Veterans from the Korean War, Vietnam War and the Middle East Wars participated in the hunt.
Nine private hunting clubs in the Coahoma and Bolivar Counties graciously opened their hunting gates, cabin doors and hearts to serve those who have so bravely and unselfishly have served our country. The clubs included:
Bland Bayou Hunting Club
Burke’s Hunting Club
Coahoma County Conservation League
Concordia Hunting Club
Merigold Hunting Club
Ward Lake Hunting Club
Sunny skies, mild temperatures and a full moon prevailed and provided the hunters a bountiful harvest. Harvest results included 15 buck and 2 does. The largest buck was a beautiful 10-point which green scored 164”. The buck was taken at Ward’s Lake Hunting Club. The fortunate hunter was Cody Perkins of Meridian, MS. Another fortunate hunter was Dennis Adams of Hernando, MS. After missing a shot on a morning hunt, Dennis was fortunate to harvest the same missed beautiful 150”+ class buck a few hours later on the afternoon hunt. The host camp was Watts Plantation.
Over the course of 3 days, the veterans enjoyed good food, great music, outstanding hunting and hospitality at the hunting camps and prizes and awards provided my Coahoma and Bolivar County merchants and individuals.
Many merchants and volunteers made this event possible through the donation of their facilities, materials as well as their time. These gifts were expressions of their gratitude to the veterans and active military personnel for their service.
Groundwork is already in process to resume the Whitetail assault next year. The hunt is always conducted the weekend closest to December 7th, Pearl Harbor Day. Plans are already in progress for the 2018 event.