This past year, 2020, proved to be special for Empowered Dream Hunts Inc.
Last spring, our sons Joey and Leo Ramsey expressed that they wanted to do something for Police Officers. They wanted to thank them in some way for the work that they do. Fundraising efforts began and ideas were shared with our Board Members.
At our Annual Fundraiser Banquet in August 2020, we were happy to announce Ella and Anna Weiland (daughters of fallen Police Officer, Jason Weiland), Autumn Moen (Mosinee Resident and volunteer at Mosinee Schools), and Drake Carlson (Marathon) as recipients of dream hunts for 2020.
Autumn Moen was the first one up to hunt in September. She always wanted to harvest a deer. Autumn was so excited and shared her beautiful smile with everyone. She even created a special "Empowered Dream Hunts Inc. Girl Power" shirt for Ella and Anna Weiland and herself. Autumn had Ella Weiland, Joey and Joe Ramsey, Dave Matis (guide), and Randy Brown in the blind with her. With one shot, Autumn successfully harvested a beautiful 11 point mature buck at Whitetails of a Lifetime. Her squeals of excitement proved how much she enjoyed her experience. Besides being able to enjoy some venison jerky and snack sticks, Autumn made some new friends.
Ella and Anna Weiland were up next for their hunts. Ella wanted to use a rifle and Anna wanted to use a bow. Anna picked up a bow last year at COPS Kids Camp. She was good at it and loved it. She never thought in a million years she would go hunting. Killing animals wasn’t her thing, she likes targets. Anna was told her hunt wasn’t going to be easy but give it time and you will get one. Their first night out, both girls came back to the lodge empty handed. It was evident that even though they are hunting on a ranch, the deer are as elusive as ones in the wild. Ella and Anna set off for their second night. Coming back to the lodge, Anna shared about how she had several nice bucks near her stand. With bow in hand, she ended the night with more appreciation and excitement to get back at it soon. Ella came back after dark and had a big smile. She harvested a big 4 year old 10 pointer at 160 yards. The guide and a family friend were in the blind with Ella, and they were able to share Ella's amazing experience. On Anna's 5th day of hunting, she had an opportunity to draw back, but wasn’t able to get a good shot (the deer decided to show off his backside). On the 6th day, she decided that she wasn’t going to let her opportunity get away. Anna not only harvested her first whitetail, she also gained the experience of many adventures and memories were made during those 6 days to last a lifetime. Many lessons were discovered during her hunt. Friends and family of the Weilands also enjoyed Anna and Ella's experiences at Wilderness Whitetails.
Drake Carlson stepped up next at Whitetails of a Lifetime. Drake wanted to use a crossbow for his hunt. Drake was able to get into a stand with his guide. He learned quickly why a safety harness is important to use, especially when he kept getting buck fever. Drake went out 7 times to hunt. He battled his nerves every time. Drake's 7th time out, he was finally able to calm himself and control his shaking enough to harvest a mature 9 pointer with a rifle. Drake learned many lessons with his experience that he will be able to put into place in his future hunting excursions.
Through donations that continued to come in to Empowered Dream Hunts Inc. in late fall, an extra hunt was able to be given to Bubba, a disabled Marine from Wausau. Bubba was able to harvest a mature 15 point buck with his son. Bubba was excited to have the chance to hunt, as he hasn't been able to for many years, due to some serious medical complications. He didn't care about the size of the deer, he was so excited to be able to have venison once again.
During fall, Empowered Dream Hunts Inc. ran a raffle for Police Officers only, called "Backing the Blue." The drawing took place December 1st at Chase Outdoors. Three Officers were drawn as winners, and one even donated their prize money back. Funds raised from the raffle went towards Anna and Ella Weiland's hunts and also to two very deserving local Police Officers.
Last year, 2020, was challenging for most in different ways. Some battled financial hardship, job loss/lay-offs, social isolation, illness, depression, and more. As an organization, we wanted to brighten the days for some who have been through some challenging times. When Christmas was approaching, Empowered Dream Hunts Inc. wanted to continue the mission of giving back to those who serve and protect us. Empowered Dream Hunts Inc. was able to help a disabled veteran who recently not only lost the use of his vehicle, his therapy dog was also attacked by a wild animal. His dog had to have a leg amputated to save it's life. Empowered Dream Hunts Inc. went shopping with this veteran and helped purchase Christmas gifts for his children.
We are thankful for everyone's support of our organization and the ability to provide experiences in the outdoors for those with challenges. We are blessed to have been able to help a few youth, Veterans, and Police Officers this fall, as it happened with so many people giving of their hard earned money, time, and gifts.
Thank you all again who have supported our mission to help the specially-abled outdoor enthusiasts living in the Wisconsin communities to overcome nature's challenges, break barriers and develop friendships to fulfill a dream. Please mark your calendars for our Annual Fundraiser Banquet for 2021: August 7th at Rib River Ballroom. Details will be coming. If you would like to get involved with Empowered Dream Hunts Inc., through assisting with fundraising, hunts, video, or sharing any other gifts/talents that you have, please contact Joe and Laurie Ramsey 715-693-3322.
2019 Waupaca Youth & Veteran Learn to Deer Hunt
By: Conservation Warden Jonathan Kaiser
We are happy to report another safe
and successful Learn to Hunt [LTH]
for deer program in Waupaca. Again
this year, Warden Supervisor Dremel,
Warden Kernosky, and Warden Kaiser partnered with a local landowner who generously donated access to their property to make this hunt happen. Warden Kaiser also worked with Niemuth’s Steak and Chop Shop in Waupaca who kindly agreed to provide butchering services for the successful hunters along with Action Arts Taxidermy near Waupaca who donated a deer shoulder mount for Veteran Tom Walker’s buck as a “Thank You” for Walker’s military service.
Both were a great, safe hunts as well as an experience that all of us will remember! We especially want thank the generous landowner, Niemuth’s Steak & Chop Shop of Waupaca, Action Arts Taxidermy of Waupaca, the Chain O’ Lakes Conservation Club, and the Wisconsin Department of Veteran Affairs for allowing us to continue the legacy of the Learn to Hunt program!
We would like to introduce Tom Walker, a residence at the local King [Waupaca] Veteran’s Home. Tom enjoys the opportunity to deer hunt as well as target shoot, but he has not been able to much in recent years! After working cooperatively with the Wisconsin Department of Veteran Affairs [DVA] and the King Veteran’s Home Activity Coordinator Amy Formella, the hunt was planned for Tom to attend with Nurse Supervisor Brenda Wedemayer.
On September 10, 2019, Tom was hunting with Brenda over a food plot and as shooting hours approached, the deer starting coming out of the woods. A short time later, Tom was successful in harvesting a buck deer after Brenda and he determined a safe shot was possible, steadied his aim, and took a shot with the deer being found a short distance away. We all were very excited to say the least and Tom was smiling from ear to ear! After harvesting the deer, Warden Supervisor Dremel and Warden Kernosky worked with Tom and Brenda to field dress the deer and take multiple pictures with the group. It was a great, safe hunt, and one that all of us will remember!
In order to further celebrate the hunt with multiple other Veterans and DVA staff, Warden Supervisor Dremel, Warden Kernosky, and I had the honor of attending our first annual “Deer Camp” at the King Veteran’s home on November 25, 2019. In addition to stories shared and memories made, we were able to reunite with Tom and Brenda as well as meet many of the Veterans in attendance and talk with them about the Wisconsin DNR and their hunting memories!
I would also like to introduce Ethan Herman of Mosinee. Ethan is a young man who has become an avid outdoorsman and is also very active in the Empowered Dream Hunts organization whose founder, Joe Ramsey of Mosinee, worked closely with the WDNR to make the Learn to Hunt happen for him! After working with Joe, along with Ethan and his family, Ethan was able to join us for the Learn to Hunt along with his father, Ryan.
After a range safety time at the local Chain O’ Lakes Conservation Club, both father and son joined me on October 27, 2019 to hunt over a food plot from an elevated tower stand. After having had “close calls” during a previous hunt after Ethan had made the safe decision to not harvest a deer during their hunt as a safe shot did not provide itself, the deer started moving out into the food plot with plenty of time to spare! A short time later, Ethan was able to safely and ethically harvest a buck, and after a short track, the deer was located and Ethan took the opportunity to learn how to field dress the deer with Ryan’s guidance. We then had the opportunity to take several pictures while Ethan posed with his harvest. Both Ethan and Ryan were very grateful to have been able to hunt on the amazing property and they were very excited to have venison for their family!
Doug Mielke - Mosinee, WI - 20 pt - 192 inch
Barry Gruen - Marshfield, WI - 18 pt - 204.5 inch
Kevin Churkey-Madison, WI - 13 pt - 150 7/8 inch
Neil Menke, a hunter from Oshkosh, harvested a deer from Wilderness Whitetails Ranch. Neil’s mom, Craig Kleinschmit, and Mike Beaman were also able to partake in the event. Thank you to the staff from Wilderness Whitetails Ranch for providing a great experience through excellent hospitality.
Bob, a hunter from Spencer, harvested his first buck at age 49. Whitetails Of A Lifetime in Marathon County hosted his hunt. Following his event, Bob and his family and friends enjoyed food and fellowship. Thank you to Adam Bartz, for cooking a great meal at the cozy lodge. Thank you to Leo Heath, a leader of Same Difference from the Loyal area, for helping Bob prepare for his hunt. Thank you Jeff Specht, Wild Things Taxidermy for helping with skinning Bob’s deer and preparing for Bob’s mount. This event was a dream come true for both hunter and his dad.
Thank you to all that helped Empowered Dream Hunts Inc. make it possible to provide a Team Action Trackchair to Scott Hansen from the Southeastern area of Wisconsin. Many friends, family and area businesses that know Scott provided funds for have a Team Action Trackchair purchased for him to use. Scott is an active outdoors enthusiast and will get lots of use out of this piece of equipment. Scott agreed that when the time comes that he is no longer able to use the Action Trackchair, it will be returned to Empowered Dream Hunts Inc. for others to use.