Outdoor Corner: A Rabbit Hunt to Remember

Lyle Johnson

Ascension Outdoors TV was invited Feb. 19 to take part in a different kind of rabbit hunt. Our host for the hunt was David Guidroz of Guidroz Kennels. David has the rabbit dogs that we used on the hunt.

A group called Hero Hunts puts this event on every year, and this was the second one we were honored to participate in. The crew of Ascension Outdoors met David at Stelly’s on Hwy 71 in LeBeau and headed to the camp where we would make the rabbit hunt.

The real heroes of our time pose with each other along with some volunteers and the Ascension Outdoors TV crew.

When we arrived, the crowd already was already gathering around the sign-in table. You could tell the folks were from all walks of life and ages. As folks were signing up, introductions and conversations were starting up everywhere, just like any other regular hunt.

There were some kids of our veterans in attendance. The ages of the veterans were from early 30s to at least 74 years old. One was in a wheelchair, another in a motorized chair with 10-inch wide tracks that made him very mobile in the woods, even through water. He never shook a hand, a hug was his method of operation.

The comradery and laughter was infectious as we got to know each other a little better, but it was time to hit the woods for some of those “Wascally Wabbits.” There was a short safety meeting, then the ATVs started spreading the hunters out so the dogs could be turned loose.

The four rabbits the crew took from the woods on the annual Hero Hunt’s event.

Less than five minutes after David turned the dogs loose, the first rabbit was jumped. The dogs stayed hot on the trail, so it wasn’t long before the first shots were fired, and the first rabbit was bagged. My co-host, Goosie Guice, got the first shot, and he made the most of the opportunity putting the first rabbit in the bag.

The next opportunity to take another rabbit fell in the hands of Chris LaFleur from Lafayette. The first hunter missed, so Chris got the opportunity and scored a direct hit to sack the second bunny. Chris served in the Marine Corps and fought in Iraq. He also served on the board of directors of Hero Hunts.

“This organization means so much to our veterans,” LaFleur said. “The things they do to affect the lives of those who participate, including mine, caused me to become a big part of Hero Hunts.”

Our rabbit dog trainer extraordinaire, David Guidroz, shot number three, and Chris LaFleur put another good shot and dispatched the fourth and final rabbit of the morning. The hunt was called, and we all headed back for lunch and presentation of the trophies.

Some of the volunteers grilled some burgers, hot dogs and boudin while we were out in the field. It didn’t take long for this group to make a dent into the food as we were all starving. More friendships developed around the fellowship of breaking bread with each other.

Goosie took the trophy for killing the first rabbit, and Chris LaFleur took the trophy for the most rabbits with two. David Guidroz was awarded the appreciation trophy for providing the most important part of the hunt, the rabbit dogs.

Hero Hunt’s is dedicated to providing our servicemen/women opportunities to experience our great outdoors here in Louisiana. The organization was founded in 2013 by Troy Coleman and is based out of Maurice.

The organization strives to reconnect veterans with the outdoors and each other through hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities and serves about 250 veterans every year in outdoor activities.

Hero Hunts helps to show veterans the wealth of resources that the outdoors has to offer. They hold raffles, fishing tournaments, and auctions to help raise funds for their mission.

You can help to provide life-changing opportunities for veterans who have been disabled and thought that continuing their outdoor activities would be impossible. We provide access to specific waterfowl deer, and fishing locations for disabled and able veterans throughout Louisiana.

We have several hunting and fishing adventures lined up for the upcoming season. Hero Hunts encourages you to get involved. If you would like to participate or make a donation, please contact us at 337-316-6102 or log on to www.herohunts.org for all the information you need to sign up to participate as a Military Vet, to volunteer or donate to the cause.

Here is a testimony from Russel G:

“I came into Hero Hunts by accident. I was getting my hunting license renewed and got a card from the owner of the store that said Hero Hunts, so I called and that is now history. What I discovered was something I never would have imagined. I had given up hunting because of my injury I had in Vietnam in 1968. These people that work to make these hunts happen for us Vets; They need to be thanked. They are special folks.

“I now have something to look forward to until my last days come. Depression is a serious thing and it will come on a Vet and he will not notice what everyone around him can see. Thanks to my daughter Helen, Mr. Troy Coleman and all his people, you have given to me more than you will ever know!”

The rabbit hunt was awesome but it paled in comparison to all of the other “stuff” that went on. As much as I might try to tell the story, words just don’t do this experience justice at all. Until next time, remember to keep the slack out and set the hook hard. Have fun in the outdoors, be safe and may God truly bless you!

Outdoor Calendar

  • East Ascension Sportsman’s League Meeting: 7 p.m. third Monday monthly in the meeting room upstairs at Cabela’s. Supper will be served. warrenh3@eatel.net 
  • Ducks Unlimited Banquet: 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Cabela’s. Firearm frenzy raffle for 50 guns. Purchase tickets at dufrenzy.com, any purchase gets you ticket entry includes food, beer, wine and a DU membership.
  • Angling Against Autism Bass Tournament: Saturday — Safe daylight, Doiron’s Landing, Stephensville. 4 p.m. weigh-in. Tournament fee $205 (includes launch/big-bass pot). $5,000 first-place. Benefits Port City Enterprises/S&S Behavioral. Call Moonie Bergeron (225) 938-2834 or Keith Thibodeaux (225) 938-0941.
  • Becoming An Outdoors Woman/Bucks & Does: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Outdoor Education Center, Woodworth. Deer biology/management, habitat, hunting & deer stand safety, firearms & techniques. Equipment provided. For 18 and older. Fee $35. Limited class size. State Wildlife & fisheries event. Website: lawff.org/bow. Email: Dana Norsworthy: dnorsworthy@wlf.la.gov

Need an event publicized? Contact Lyle at reelman@eatel.net