by Anna Mitterling, Cooperative Coordinator, MUCC
A little over a week ago, Southern Mecosta Whitetail Management Association (SMWMA), a deer cooperative in Mecosta County, partnered with Michigan Operation Freedom Outdoors (MiOFO) to provide a really neat deer hunting opportunity for five Michigan Veterans. MiOFO is a collaborative partnership whose mission is to provide outstanding outdoor recreation opportunities to wounded Veterans and individuals with health challenges and, to coordinate a support network that facilitates their recovery through connecting with nature.
SMWMA provided lodging (donated by Tulleymore Golf Club), delicious meals prepared by Marsha Wolf, and guided hunts.Five SMWMA members, Harold Wolf, Dave Buikema, Tom Holbeck Greg Jehnzen and Pat McKenna donated their time, land, and guided the Veterans on the weekend hunts.
According to one of the cooperative leaders, Harold Wolf, the weekend was fabulous, and the weather was perfect. While there was some skepticism by cooperative members early on about having guest hunters out on their property, by the end of the weekend, they said they had a great time, and were willing to host Veterans again.
“A great time was had by all as It was a fun weekend of comradeship and friendship. What an awesome way to give back and say ‘Thank You’ to the Veterans for their service and sacrifice to our great country! We hope next year our co-op will be able to participate again in the MiOFO hunt weekend and we hope to have more members join us in this great opportunity!” SMWMA wrote in their cooperative newsletter.
Congratulations to Veteran Doug Goerlitz who shot a nice 7 point buck!
Well done Southern Mecosta Whitetail Management Association. You should be proud of this event and the opportunities you were able to provide to a few of our deserving Veterans. If you are part of a cooperative, and you are looking for a way to give back to our Veterans, check out more information on MiOFO at their website.