I am a senior at Warren Woods Tower High School and I am living with a debilitating disease. My family enjoys the outdoors, fishing and hunting, but with my limitations it has become harder for me to participate in these activities. My dad takes me fishing and I have gone to the shooting range, but I have never been able to hunt. All that changed with the wonderful experience I was given by the Safari Club Southeast Michigan Bowhunters Chapter and Doug Roberts at ConQuest. They arranged for my dad and me to share a deer hunt. It was a once in a lifetime experience for me. My dad and I had a great day thanks to everyone who supported this hunt. I got a 13-point buck. No one else in my family has ever been so lucky. All of the meat is now in our freezer. Now, the debate is where to hang the deer mount. Thank you again for the generosity shown by everyone who supports this wonderful organization that made it possible for my dad and me to spend one day not focused on my illness, but enjoying our time in the woods instead. May everyone be blessed with a great and safe deer season.– Michaela Hilliard
Commentary by Richard De Lisle, Chapter President
I first met Michaela when she and Amir Safiedine went on our annual wish fishing trip donated by one of our longtime donors and chapter friend, Myron Gilbert of M & M Charters (517-592-3376). After fishing–Michaela caught a four-pound walleye–we went to a local restaurant for lunch. Michaela said that one of her dreams was to shoot a deer, but because of her limitations it would probably never happen. I told her not to put any dreams on hold and I would take her request to our board. We usually do not grant two wish hunts or fishing trips to the same young person because there are so many to do on our limited budget. I asked the board to make an exception for Michaela and they readily agreed. I asked Mike Wills (Pathfinder Chair and past president) if he could put it together and he said he would be proud to do it. Mike contacted Doug Roberts, owner of ConQuest Scent Sticks in Davison, Michigan, knowing that Doug had many contacts in the deer hunting world. On September 23,2012, we met at Doug Roberts Deer Ranch in Davidson, where his stepson, Taylor Hudgeson, guided Michaela and her dad, Ronald, into a blind he had set up. The day was warm and sunny. About three hours later the shot rang out and Michaela had her deer, a nice 13-point buck that dressed 175 pounds. All that was accomplished because of the caring people who support our great chapter.
Thanks to all who were involved. This shows that all limitations can be overcome when you have people who care. Special thanks to Gary Radtkle, Great Lakes Custom Meats And More, for donating meat processing so Michaela and her family could enjoy many fine meals of her venison.