Before we jump in on how we helped rase $44,000 for veterans in 2023, let me give you a little back story.
In 2017 our cousin Clint Wirick, a US Fish & Wildlife biologist, reached out to us saying a chair-bound hunter name Rick Werry in his community was selected by Paul Anderson, a CWMU Operator, and the CWMU Association to receive a once-in-a-lifetime Shiras Moose tag for a unit in Northern, Utah. I told Clint that I would love to tag along and film the hunt if all involved were willing.
The CWMU Association and those involved were ecstatic about the opportunity to have it filmed and shared! I tagged along, met some amazing people who are now life-long friends, and Rick shot a 50-inch wide bull moose to-boot! The film is on our Youtube Channel and you can view it here:
As I mentioned before, from that hunt I met some incredible people who I consider friends as close as family. Paul Anderson is one of those people. Paul and I continued to stay in touch and in our communications some time after the moose hunt Paul mentioned that one of his goals was to take veterans, both physically and mentally wounded, out hunting. So, after some discussions, we at Muley Freak decided we wanted to help Paul and the Hunts for the Brave Non-Profit get veterans out in the field.
It started out by getting the veteran hunters hooked up with full camouflage setups from Kryptek, filming their hunts, posting them on Youtube, and hanging out/hunting with them for the week. It was awesome!! With that being said, we wanted to do more. After some thinking, we decided we wanted to help them raise money so that they could do even more for the veterans including covering travel fees, meat processing, tag fees, and even taxidermy.
That desire to help them raise money morphed into building a donation rifle and auctioning it off. We called our good friend Travis Stevens of TS Customs Rifles and shared with him our vision. He immediately said he was in! Travis has since donated all his work and time to build 5 or 6 custom rifles for a number of different non-profits with us.
WE RAISED $44,000 FOR VETERANS
Fast forward to February 3rd, 2023 at the Western Hunt Expo in Salt Lake City, UT, I sat in the audience nervously anticipating how much money our donation rifle would auction off for. There was an exciting energy in the air and I felt like something special was about to happen. The rifle being auctioned off was a custom 7PRC built by Travis Stevens, with a TS Customs KS1 stock, built off of a Lone Peak Steel Razor action, and a carbon fiber PROOF Research barrel on the business end.
John Bair, the famous auctioneer, began the bidding around $10k. Immediately 3 suitors began to bid, things caught fire, and I heard $15k, $20k, $25k, $30k, until the last thing I heard John say was, "I sold it for $44,000"!
I couldn't believe my ears. I was humbled. I was in awe. I was grateful. Being someone that had boots-on-the-ground knowledge of exactly where that money would go, I just couldn't express enough gratitude towards the generous gentlemen that bought it.
If you are a veteran, please reach out to us or Hunts for the Brave so you can join the family. They are an incredible organization that feels more like a family than anything else.
Watch last year's mule deer hunt with Hunts for the Brave Here: