'Heroes Hunt' event gives local veterans the chance to hunt pheasants
More than 50 eastern Iowa veterans from all military branches took part in Pheasant hunting on Sunday. It was part of the ‘Heroes Hunt’ event hosted by Linn County Pheasants Forever.
Groups of veterans teamed with a professional to hit the fields to hunt pheasants. They had the choice to take home the ones they caught. Veterans from all branches took park in the event. Organizers say it helps build camaraderie.
"I saw several (veterans) that had met last year, at last year's hunt saw each other again,” said Wade Kinser of Linn County Pheasants Forever. “So there's a lot of that that goes on. There's a lot of rivalries between the services about who got more birds then the other, but it's all friendly stuff.”
Marine Veteran Vincent Russo hunts pheasants in an ATV. An injury he suffered while serving in Afghanistan forces him to walk with a cane. It limits the hunting he can do in the field.
"I got hurt, and then the surgery was what messed me up,” explained Russo. “It wasn't necessary the combat, but it was the surgery that tore it up."
He still finds a way to feast on pheasants. When the dogs they have out hunting with them spots a pheasant, he gets out the ATV, leans against the vehicle and fires.
The event is a good way to get veterans like Russo out and doing activities. "I think it's important that they active, they keep coming out,” said Kinser “We got guys in their 70’s, one guy I think was almost 80-years-old. They're not moving as fast, but they're moving and that's the main thing."
Russo says Pheasant hunting with other veterans rejuvenates him. "You see all the guys that are from so many different services, and so many different age groups, and so many different wars, we can all sit here and tell stories and talk nonstop like we've known each other for 20 years," He said.