Crossbow Connection Magazine

Proud Supporter of the Wounded Warrior Project and Our Warriors

BUCKHAVEN’s “Whitetails for Warriors”
By: Denny Campbell
BUCKHAVEN Learning Center, Inc.

For the past Six years BUCKHAVEN Learning Center, Inc. has provided  facilities for an all-expense paid Archery Whitetail Deer hunt ”Whitetails for Warriors” for theCombat Wounded Veterans, at BUCKHAVEN, Loudonville, Ohio. Eleven Disabled Vets will have an opportunity to harvest a whitetail deer on this very special hunt.

So many of our service men and women, present and past have been injured while serving to Protect and Defend our Great United States ofAmerica, many of them suffering from traumatic brain injuries, amputations, and severe burns. We feel this this Hunt will help ease their burdens and aid in the transition back to a successful civilian life.


This year, we had eleven lucky hunters arrived at BUCKHAVEN on Wednesday around 1:00 p.m.  Willie Costello, Scott Meshew, (Hunt Coordinators) had reviewed the hunter’s applications and had drawn their names back in early September. Brab Terry, from TenPoint Crossbows furnished twelve crossbows for our Warriors to use on this year’s hunt.  After shooting their crossbows, with the assistance with Barb and some of the Guides, it was off to the classroom for rules, regulations, and safety talks.  Wednesday’s dinner was provided by the Tall Timber Inn, in Butler, “Home of the Big Kahuna Wings”.  After supper, the hunters retired to the Little Brown Inn for a good night’s sleep, (if that’s possible before a hunt).

5:00 a.m. Thursday morning, the eleven vets showed up ready to go in their brand new head to toe camo gear provided by BUCKHAVEN.

Jeff Mowery, Hunt Manager from Loudonville, Ohio and Joe Hyland, Chief Guide from Washington State, assigns the hunters with a guide in the blind in the area they will be hunting.  This procedure happens twice a day for the duration of the hunt.  This assures each hunter has a new outlook each time they go out.

The hunting land is provided by Denny and Dottie Campbell, Steve and Connie Kauffman, the Arboretum managed by Lonnie Stull, and new for this year, Ed Evans in Greer.  This gives us over 2,000 acres to hunt.

Guides transport the hunters and their personal guide by way of ATV’s, trailers, and 4x4’s. 

Thursday night’s supper was donated and catered by Tom and Jeannie Stake of Stake’s IGA. They are longtime supporters of BUCKHAVEN. Their store is located in Loudonville, Ohio.

Friday morning, more deer started to arrive and the skinning and butcher shop was in full swing.  Shane Griffey of Maryville, Ohio handled the skinning shed.  Mike and Kim Strassell and their family cut, wrapped, and froze the venison for the hunters to take home. Mike is the owner of HI-Point Firearms. This event could not have happened without our many volunteers. 


Saturday Night was the awards banquet.  BUCKHAVEN’s President, Mark Gustafson, and Willie Costello was the master of ceremonies for the evening.  Willie presented all the hunters with a certificate of Participation.  The deer harvest total was 19 with 3 bucks.  The guides and volunteers were shown our appreciation by receiving a certificate for all of their devotion and dedication. Bonnie Davis, State Coordinator of Ohio represented “Quilts of Valor” in the presentation of eleven of the most beautiful Quilts you have ever seen. All of these Quilts are stitched with love, prayers and healing thoughts. Our troops who have been touched by war are awarded this tangible token of appreciation that unequivocally says, “Thank you for your service, sacrifice and valor.”

Lynda Wilson, Kitchen Manager from Grove City, along with her staff, cooked, baked, and served three meals a day honoring our Combat Wounded Veterans. 

Manning the grills was Mike Matuch from Mt. Gilead, Ohio, who Smoked Pork Butts and a Beef Brisket. Barth Coffing, from Mt. Vernon, Ohio, prepared the venison quarters, tenderloins, and ten smoked deer hearts.

BUCKHAVEN Learning Center’s major emphasis is placed on honoring our disabled veterans in an educational and recreational therapeutic benefit program.  It is a unique program to educate and meet their needs to install integrity, self-sufficiency and the power to develop “Friends for a Lifetime”.