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Saturday, January 6, 2018

Local Guy Participated in Hunt of a Lifetime

Story by Kathy Brooks

A while back Terad Howard’s family physician, Dr. Marlene Wust-Smith with Cole Memorial Hospital had told Terad and his Mom Therese Tumas about the “Hunt of a Lifetime” Program and suggested they fill out the paperwork to participate. Time had passed and his Mom had forgotten about the program. Back in the Spring, Terad and his family traveled to Harrisburg to the Great American Outdoor Show where his stepfather Mike Tumas spotted the Hunt of a Lifetime Booth so they stopped to talk with the representatives and that’s where the story began to qualify Terad for the program.

According to Terad’s mother, he was born on August 9, 1996 in Bellefontaine, Ohio weighing 3 lbs 14 oz. Unbeknownst to his parents Therese Tumas and John Howard and the doctors he was born with spina bifida. Therese was scheduled for a natural childbirth delivery, however the cord was wrapped around her son’s neck which resulted in an emergency C-section. Therese said this was a blessing in disguise because Terad’s spinal sack which was exposed would have been torn and could have resulted in paralyses or worse. Terad was three days old when he underwent his first surgery to close the opening. The doctors told his parents not to expect much from him. Terad has had more than 20 surgeries over the past 21 years. He was fitted with his first pair of leg braces when he was less than 2 years old. Therese said he was a determined little guy and even now as a young man he is always eager to prove others wrong. Growing up he played t-ball, learned to ride a bike, went deer hunting, was a member of 4H, was a Junior Firefighter and is now an adult member of the Austin Volunteer Fire Company. Terad graduated from the Austin Area School in 2015. He attended high school dances and Prom and was crowned Prom King at his Senior Prom. His mom says he always has a smile on his face and a positive attitude. He has learned to adapt and do things in his own way. Never once have I heard him say “I can’t do something” until he has given it his all. I am very proud to say I am his mom.

“Hunt of a Lifetime” is a nonprofit organization with a mission to grant hunting and fishing dreams for children ages 21 and under, who have been diagnosed with life threatening illnesses. According to the Founder of the Foundation and National President Tina Pattison they do what they can to make a difference in their life, a dream come true. Unlike the “Make a Wish Foundation” which is unable to grant wishes for a hunting program, “Hunt of a Lifetime Foundation” is committed to working with children and to make it possible for them to follow their dreams in hunting and fishing adventures.

Terad has always enjoyed hunting and fishing and was beyond excited to learn he was chosen for the program. He said “I’m really excited to go to Colorado and hunt for an elk; something I may never geet to do around here due to being too physical and my limits. I hope to get a nice bull elk to mount. I am very thankful to Dr. Marlene Wust-Smith for recommending this once in a lifetime experience.” Terad stated he has received a Savage Axis II .308 caliber rifle and two boxes of ammunition for the hunt. The distribution of the fire arms was donated and handled by Bob & Nadine Adams of Twin Falls, Idaho. Terad also received a personalized demin shirt embroidered with the “Hunt of a Lifetime” emblem and his name from Barbara Norcross of Mount Dora, Florida. There are numerous sponsors who support the “Hunt of a Lifetime” program along with donations received for the numerous individuals throughout the country.

According to Mike Tumas, in December Terad and his family will travel to Castle Rock, Colorado which is just south of Denver where they will stay for the week long hunt. Upon arrival they will meet with volunteer hunting guides from Storm Peak Outfitters who will take him to the low country woods for the hunt. At this time of the year, the elk will moving from the high country down to the low country winter feeding grounds.

Prior to the hunt Terad will receive a gift certificate for Cabelas to purchase clothing for the hunting trip. The Hunt of a Lifetime Program covers all expenses for Terad and one adult including the processing of the meat and taxidermist fees after a successful hunt. Terad said he can’t wait to share the details with his family and friends when he returns. We at the Potter Leader Enterprise hope to be able to publish pictures from the trip and report on his once in a life time adventure.

Successful Hunt of a Life Time for Austin Resident

When Terad Howard was chosen for the Hunt of a Lifetime Program the excitement was shared not only by him but with his parents, Mike and Therese Tumas, as they all prepared for the week-long trip to Colorado in December.

Terad and his parents arrived in Denver on December 10th and were met by Ambassador Mr. Bob Olson who was affiliated with Hunt of a Lifetime. Bob was very helpful in getting the family around the Airport, obtaining Terad's hunting license and getting them to the hotel.

The first day of the hunt began Monday morning when Terad and his parents went with Mr. Olson to meet their Guides John and Kevin from Storm Peak Outfitters. They drove through the scrub oak and meadows in the foothills of the rocky mountains southwest of Denver to get to their hunting location. Not long after they started hunting two bull elk appeared approximately 300 yards away. John tried to get Terad close to the bulls but they went up a draw and out of sight. The rest of the morning was spent looking for bull elk. Terad said “we saw quite a few elk but they were on a ranch that we were not permitted to hunt on.” Terad hunted until 10:00 am and plans were made to meet up again later in the afternoon at 3:00 pm. Unfortunately we did not see any more elk on Monday. During the off hunting time, Terad and his family were free to tour the area

Terad met up with the outfitters again on Tuesday morning but they did not see any elk close enough to shoot. John and Kevin were working hard to find an elk for Terad. The outfitters talked to another rancher who's name was John also and told him that they had a disabled boy that they were trying to find an elk for. When the other rancher heard the story of Hunt of a Lifetime, he offered his ranch for Terad to hunt on. The rancher noted they had seen elk on this ranch earlier that morning. They drove around the 10,000 acre ranch looking for elk. Terad noted “as we stopped to get some pictures of the beautiful scenery and we saw a herd of elk approximately 3/4 mile away.” The outfitters and our ambassador planned their approach to get Terad close enough for a good shot while Terad’s parents stayed behind to watch the show unfold from a distance. Mike noted “we watched as the truck went down in to the prairie and disappear into the forest. We waited what seemed like hours. The elk moved from one meadow to another where they continued to graze. All of a sudden, the herd started to run, all but one of the elk. Mike said it took that long for the sound of the shot to reach us. We watched through the binoculars as the one bull dropped. We knew then that Terad had gotten an elk.”

Mike said soon after the shot, Therese and I waited for the okay from the outfitters to drive on down. Therese had tears in her eyes and Terad was shaking like a leaf when we got to them and Mike was beaming from ear to ear.” Congratulations were passed all around as Terad had gotten a 5X7 bull elk with five points on one side and seven on the other weighing about 725lbs. The shot was perfectly placed in to the heart with just one bullet. The crew used a winch mounted on the truck to hoist the bull in. Hunters are not permitted to gut the animal in the fields due to the fear that it would attract predators such as mountain lions, coyotes and bobcats. There was a kennel on the property that they used to train dogs and they didn’t want to jeopardize their safety. The bull was taken back to our outfitters ranch and everyone including the rancher who had let us on his property started skinning and gutting the elk. The elk weighed in at 320 lbs hanging weight. Thanks to Steve’s Meats who will process the meat into jerky, sausage, steaks and more before shipping it to Terad and his family. They donated part of the meat to a few shelters and kitchens that will feed the homeless and less fortunate.

Terad was beaming from head to toe and was proud of his success. When asked how he felt when he shot the elk Terad responded with “I was so excited. I couldn’t believe I had actually shot it! I kept waiting for it to fall and the. Realized it already had. I couldn’t focus because I was shaking so much. Terad the best part of the trip was seeing the bull elk after he shot it and imaging the mount hanging on his wall at Home.

Terad is thankful to his Ambassador and the Outfitters for making his hunt a success.

Since the elk was shot on the second day of the hunt, Terad and his family had four more days left to explore the area before boarding their plane and heading back to Pennsylvania on Saturday. They visited Pike’s Peak, Rocky Mountain National Park, Garden of the Gods, Caves of the Wind, Budweiser Ft Collins, Castle Rock Shopping and several local restaurants where they noted the food was amazing including the Wild Game Meatloaf (bacon wrapped elk, lamb, venison and grass fed beef), the Carnivore which is elk loin, marinated venison and wild game sausage and the Smoked Pheasant Chowder. Terad said “we even traveled to Cheyenne, Wyoming just to say we were there.”

Therese said “in the town of Golden we enjoyed some Christmas festivities including a parade and shopping. She noted that each Saturday before Christmas, they shut down the Streets for a parade.” On Thursday, they went back to the ranch to pick up the head and carcass and thank everyone for their adventure. Then they stopped at Jonas Brothers, the taxidermist who will cape the head and have the skin tanned before shipping it to Terad.

Mike noted the ambassador and the guides were great. They really were determined to get Terad a bull. Hunt of a Lifetime is a great program and we truly appreciate the opportunity that was given to Terad and our family.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to the program may send checks or money orders to: Hunt of A Lifetime Foundation, PO Box 241, Harborcreek, PA 16421 or contact the Foundation at 866-345-4455 or 814-572-4387.


Anonymous said...

Awesome story. a Chance in a lifetime for this young man. I am so glad that there are programs like this to help young kids make their dreams come true. What a wonderful memory to have for the rest of your young life. Congratulations on your hunt.

Anonymous said...

Congrats Terad, A great story !!! So happy for you buddy...

Tony said...

This is just awesome.

D. Duke Slater said...

Congrats, again, Terad! What a remarkable experience! Great story, Kathy Brooks!