The memories mean just a little bit more this time around as a hunt soon returning to Garvin County is again meant to give some special folks a taste of the great outdoors.
When the annual hunt led by the Oklahoma Outdoor Reach group arrives next weekend a past participant is sure to be on the minds of those taking part this year.
Van Parker of Pauls Valley, one of the founders of the nonprofit outdoor organization, says his name is Sam – Sam Brown to be exact.
Brown was one of the hunters with chronic and terminal conditions who over the past few years got out there for this hunt throughout different parts of Garvin County.
Brown, who was wheelchair bound but still right in the middle of the last seven hunts here, recently passed away at the age of 18.
“When he passed away we started naming a youth hunt for him. We’ve created a memorial scholarship fund at his school,” Parker said.
“We have posters up that say smile like Sam. Everybody loved him.”
This year’s hunt is scheduled to go from Friday through Saturday, Dec. 6-8.
Around 15 youth and adults facing such conditions as cancer to spinal cord injuries are expected to be a part of this hunt.
“We offer the opportunity for kids who are chronically and terminally ill to go on a hunt,” he said.
“We’ll show them how to hunt, although most of them already know what they’re doing.
“For a lot of them this is one of the only times they can get out and do this.
“Some of them are disabled, so we’ve got to make special accommodations to make sure they can get out there.”
The hunt this year is for white tail deer as like in the past area property owners will help out by offering up their land for the event.
“It will all be within Garvin County and some of it even stretching over into Pontotoc County.
“Everything is all volunteer and nobody charges us. The landowners pretty much let us have their place for this.”
The way it works is participants will arrive on Friday with some going out for a hunt.
“Everybody will hunt Saturday morning, we’ll come back in for lunch and then go back out. Some will hunt Sunday morning and then we’ll wrap it up with an inspirational speaker.
“We usually have a really good turnout from local people that come spend their money for the auction items.”
The auction and dinner is scheduled to get started around 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 at the county fairgrounds in Pauls Valley.
All proceeds go to support hunts just like this one, Parker adds.
Anyone wanting to find out more can call Parker at 405-207-6989.