Nashville NWTF Convention 2018
Always such a joy to attend this great convention. It's almost like a family reunion anymore and absolutely love making new friends as well. Blessed beyond to know such amazing people in the Outdoor World. And to our Great Friends at Bone Collector as well. Michael Waddell continues to show Braedan love each and every time he sees him. It doesn't matter what he is doing, when he sees Braedan he puts it aside to give him a great big hug. He spoke of him in their time slot that they had to speak to fellow hunters about the aspects of hunting and life. It was pretty awesome. Everyone at Bone Collector and the Waddell Family have embraced him so greatly and we are so thankful for them and so many of you outdoors men and women. Such kind hearts.
Back to North Carolina
Applied for a swan tag, and once again got lucky to get one. We headed off to North Carolina to hang with our good buddy Willie Allen and take on some Tundra Swan. (Like airplanes coming in) We enjoyed the hunt and meeting some new friends as well. Can't wait to hunt with you all again soon. Willie Allen holds a special place in our hearts.
Following the "My Cause My Cleat" campaign, we were invited along with the other Duchenne family, The Argall's (Devin) that designed the other cleat to attend the last home Green Bay game of the season. We were treated so well, along with meeting up with some HUGE Green Bay fans that wanted us to stop by to visit. Kelly and Todd Meyer live in the Green Bay area and were introduced to us by a friend and they are so amazing. We arrived at their home and they had so much love for Braedan. We enjoyed meeting them and connected right away. That evening we met back up with Jennifer Matthews (Clay's Sister) to attend the game against rival Minnesota Vikings. We had VIP Treatment from the time we left our hotel through out the game. We met up with Clay before the game for a meet and greet and then headed up to get the TRUE Lambeau Experience of sitting in the stadium seats (chose by Clay) in the middle of winter. So awesome. Packer Fans are truly incredible! Nothing like it! We then made our way up to Clay's suite where we graced precence with some other players families. It was so amazing and memorable. The cleats designed were auctioned off on line at a cost of
We got to help Cure Duchenne with a wonderful surprise towards our favorite football player, Green Bay Packer's Clay Matthews. We organized a nice retreet for families to come and spend the weekend with us and the boys to participate to the NFL's "My Cause My Cleat" campaign. The boys were interviewed and got to draw a picture of what they though the cleat should look like to represent Clay's Cause which is to Cure Duchenne. A cause near and dear to all us families hearts. A few months later.. the big reveal happened. And one of the cleats was a Camo Cleat chosen that Braedan drew. It was an incredible honor to have Clay wear this cleat on the field and so exciting to see his drawing be made real. It was incredible to watch the game where Clay sacked over and over again and the Packer won the game.
Back to South Carolina to for Thanksgiving Time.
We had an invite to go back to South Carolina by the wonderful Sandifer Family for Thanksgiving time to hunt some more. Between Chris and Bruce, Braedan was set up fr a fun filled couple of days of hunting. He started off with some quail hunting, which was a first and he absolutely loved it. Chris's dad Phil Sandifer took him on is tractor in to the fields and made it a blast for him. We absolutely were at awe by the Sandifer's generousity and love towards Braedan and giving him so many hunting opportunities. He had a Blast!! Deer, Quail, Dove, Squirrel and Coon hunting all in just a couple days. And the hospitality of Kitty Sandifer's family for having us for some real southern cooking for Thanksgiving was so appreciative and delicious. Your momma certainly can cook Kitty! Amazing... And of course the trip wouldn't be the same with out spending some time with our good friends JJ and Dirt. JJ cooked up some frog legs and perch that we brought and we enjoyed catching up and listening to Bruce entertain us with his guitar. He even played a song he wrote for Braedan, "Bridge over Troubled Waters". Beautiful and brought us to tears....
Braedan had an invite from Mossy Oak Pro Staff Donald Jarrett to attend another deer hunt that they call the Special Youth Challenge at the Georgia Power Plant in Millegeville, GA. It was such a blessing to attend this hunt and we made some really great friends. He also got in some fishing while there which y' all know was not disappointmenting at all to Braedan.
Braedan had an invitation to attend A Hunt of a Lifetime Deer Hunt in Arkansas in October. The Southern Sportsmen Foundation puts on this hunt each year and it is truly incredible. Such amazing people, and we had a blast. Braedan showed off his skills taking a deer each day he was there. 2 doe and 1 buck. We of course donated some of the meat to families that are not as fortunate to pay it forward. This group is simply incredible!
Birthday Boy turned 12 on September 28, 2017. We celebrated having family and friends over for a Packer Style Birthday Party.
August 2017, Braedan was invited by a good friend Bruce Compton to come to Low Country South Carolina to try his chance on a buck in velvet once again. We drove all night arriving at 5am on Friday morning. Braedan was ready to hit the deer stand right away. He didn't have a chance that morning but went back out that evening and shot his first velvet buck, a 5 point. try That same day, we met some really great friends and got some fishing in as well. The Jowers family was so gracious to show us the ropes of fising on the river and we can't wait to get back there and try it out again. The next day as we were set to head out from our morning hunt, we had a black lab and 2 men run down the lane at us. It was the South Carolina DNR. Their dog, Cash sniffed our van and came to find us. They announced that "They heard a Great hunter from Ohio was here killing all their deer. And asked Braedan if he knew anything about that?" They helped us pack out and we got to know them well and they were so generous with their time and made Braedan an honory officer for the day. After that, we drove out and had another unexpected friend waiting for him, Jason Douglas from Mossy Oak was waiting to meet Braedan. He had a bag full of goodies for him and Braedan was all smiles! Such wonderful and kind people in the South! That evening Braedan got the chance to huntwhat many would call a honey hole. A local peanut farmer invited Braedan to hunt his land. And he got the chance to shoot a beautiful 8 point velvet and dropped it on the spot. As our friend Kevin Blake Weldon says, "If it's brown it's down." They brought his deer back in the truck of the DNR and he got to keep it y'all. Not many can say that. We had an amazing time and we are so thankful to all that made this trip so special. A huge thank you to Bruce and Rhonda Compton and The Ness Family for your hospitality and generosity to make this dream hunt such a success!
In July 2017, an amazing organization called Do it for Love granted Braedan's dream of meeting Jason Aldean and seeing him perform at the Riverbend Music Center in Cinicinnati Ohio. the staf at the Riverbend went out of their way to make sure Braedan enjoyed himself and he was able to have his guitar signed by Jason as well. Great Concert!
2017 Braedan accomplished his GRAND SLAM!
Shed Hunting 2017
Back to Magnalena New Mexico
The Kern Family graciously opened their home and invited us back so that Braedan could try for a Mountain Lion once again. We had a great time and Braedan enjoyed bonding with the kids. The dogs did get on a track and we hiked up in to the mountain but we believe that it was a bobcat. Braedan got after the Jackrabbits again and shot another species of squirrel, the ground squirrel. He loves getting after those squirrels. We had a wonderful time, and are so blessed to have the Kern Family in our lives. They are such a wonderful loving and fun family!
One of our favorite Conventions to attend
The National Wildlife Turkey Federation Convention in Nashville Tennessee.
This convention is full of great people with a lot of amazing things in common, and that is not just their love of hunting but the love they have for keeping kids in the outdoors. Always a great time and Braedan loves meeting them all and catching up with old friends as well. Thank you for all your kindness everyone.
Drawn for a Swan Hunt
Braedan was drawn for a swan hunt in North Carolina. For those that don't know, you are only allowed to hunt swan in a couple states and North Carolina is one of them but you have to get your name in a drawing and pay for your tag up front. Of course we found ourselves heading back to North Carolina in January to meet up with our good friend Willie Allen from Outback Outfitters in Washington, NC. Willie got us out there on the swans. Their were millions of them coming in and it was an amazing sight. Huge beautiful gracious birds. Amazing opportunity.
Thank you Willie Allen and also Jimmy Washam from Jebbs Choke Tube.
If it's Brown it's down....
Fall deer season is always something that Braedan looks forward too. Getting out in the blind surrounded by Gods utter beauty is just an incredible experience. Braedan had a few great hunts. He was invited back to Pioneer Ohio from his local hunting buddies, hunted at our secret spot and had a great opportunity from his friend Mr. Phil who sent him a certificate to a hunt at the Vahalla Lodge in Lupton Michigan. Amazing trophies this year and lots of venison in the freezer. Braedan continues to do what he loves and provide for his family as well.
Blessed by our bear hunting buddies
Early November 2016, our bear hunting friends invited us back to the coast to chase some more black bear and we were thrilled at the opportunity to do this again. Braedan was eager to do so and see if he can get a bear treed this time. We headed to the coast and hung out with the guys a couple days sooner learning the ropes a bit more on bear hunting like taking care of the hounds, checking bait barrels and tracking. We had a great time and Braedan got another bear on day 2 of the hunt and it was treed just as he wanted. By the end of the week, we made more friends, memories and a good amount of bears. GOOD TIMES!!!
Fishing aint over yet....
Salmon Fishing on the Muskegon River in Michigan in October 2016. We had a blast and realed in some very nice salmon. Braedan needed help from dad but they managed and he had a blast.
"Take me out to the Ball Game" - Tiger Game
On August 30th, Braedan got invited to a Tiger game. Not only did he get to watch the game, but he got to watch them practice prior to the game and meet some of the players. Priceless evening filled with excitement, and the game was awesome as well. Thank you to the Tigers and the Dreams Come True Staff for making this happen. It was Incredible!!
2016 LMCC Golf Outing
Braedan's Bridge was once again welcomed back to the Annual Contractor's Golf Outing at Bedford Hills Golf Course. We also enjoy hanging out with these incredible group of people. Beautiful weather and amazing kind hearts as always. Thank you again to Dave Johnson for including us again this year and thank you to everyone that came out to golf and support us in "Building a Bridge over Duchenne."
Low Country, South Carolina
In August, Braedan was invited by one of our bear hunting buddies Scott to head to Low Country Couth Carolina to see if he could shoot a Buck in velvet. We got set up in the stand and waited and waited but no buck. Lots of turkey, wild hog, a few armadillo and some doe showed up but no sign of a buck. He did however get to go out and shoot a wild hog and what a hog he got! 155 lbs with one ear of a Pork Slam he was. Braedan thinks that makes him more unique. He was told before he went out to shoot him right behind the shoulder, and that is where is nailed him. He has such a great marksmanship and we are so proud of him. All in all, another great adventure with some more long lasting friendships. Thank you Williams Hunting for hosting us, and thank you Scott and boys for inviting us. What a way to start off the hunting season!
Ron and Linda's 50th Anniversary
Braedan was asked to be the Junior Best Man in my cousin's 50th Anniversary / Vow Renewal. We all were very honored that they chose him, but was not surprised as they have such a connection and love for him. It was a beautiful day and all their guests thoroughly enjoyed the day celebrating their 50 years in love.
We were so blessed to also hear that they asked that all their guests come, enjoy the day and in lieu of gifts that they make a donation to their favorite charity, Braedan's Bridge. It was an amazing amount of support that we were incredibly amazed by. The love of our family and friends brought in over $8,000 towards Building a Bridge over Duchenne.
God Bless you Ron and Linda Dunmyer and all your friends and our family for supporting us! We love you all!!
Turkey Hunting 2016
Braedan had a few opportunities to get on some birds this season. Of course with our local NWTF Wheeling Sportsmen's group and the Lonspurs Chapter in Williams County were gracious enough to invite us out there as well where he bagged his first Bearded hen that had almost a 9" beard. Braedan was pretty ecstatic about that! We also traveled to a West Virginia coal mind to try his luck out there, but they birds just did not cooperate. He got some trout fishing in though and our friend Frank treated us to a fresh fish fry right by the water.
Gator Hunting in Arcadia
In March 2016, we headed down to Florida for a gator hunt. This all came about by a really nice man that we met that was staying next to us in the motel in North Carolina while bear hunting in December. So incredibly blessed that god puts these kind and gentle hearts in our paths.... We ventured to a ranch in the middle of a swamp to stay for 3 days, and were welcomed by some really amazing people that made sure we had meals and anything we needed. I can not say enough about the hospitality that we received. The day of the hunt, Robert Albritton, Bill and Laura Parker, and their film crew visited us surprising Braedan with open arms. Braedan and Billy are a couple of ol' friends and get a long so well together. He always makes for a fun time of clowning around. We went out on the swamp buggy first with Brother Turner at the wheel and we got a great tour of the swamp spotting a couple, but Braedan couldn't get a shot on one. We went back in, re evaluated and set off on the Cam Am with just a few of us. We came across a nice size gator, and tried to sneak up on it but it felt us coming and darted in to the swamp leaving us disappointed. But we knew that we were going to get him a shot, so we moved on to look some more. Dad spotted one in a distance, and Braedan got set up and took the shot at about 40 yards leaving the gator to give us the wave of death. It was so incredibly awesome and he was so excited! Watch for updates... as this hunt and his bear hunt will be on Hank Parker's Flesh n Blood sometime this fall.
Beautiful New Mexico
We set off to Magnalena New Mexico in February 2016, for an exciting mountain lion hunt in the mountains. The weather did not quite cooperate with us as it is much easier to track the cats in the snow and we did not get any. In fact, the sun shined and it was gorgeous blue skies most of our time there. We had a great time tracking and calling for them. We almost had one the morning of our last day there, but unfortunately it was not meant to be this time. The dogs and Eric worked hard scouting the mountains of the acreage we were hunting, but the cats out witted us this time. Braedan did get a shot on 2 jack rabbits that were almost as big as him though. And we had some great finds in sheds and even an entire rack from an elk. He also found ancient indian pottery and arrow heads in the sand of the valleys we were walking in. Braedan and Joe Don clowned around much of the time we were there, driving in the truck dragging the roads while the two of them joked and sang songs. Great times... In the end, we have learned its not always about the hunt but mostly about the journey, people and memories we make.
2016 NWTF Convention
Nashville, here we come... We headed down to the NWTF Convention in Nashville, TN in February. We were forunate to have been invited to be guests of Ten Point Cross Bows and be considered a vendor. Thank you Barb for inviting us along! We had a great time meeting so many amazing people there. Braedan enjoyed seeing all the Outfitters and listening to all the calls through out the day and telling his own hunting stories to all of them. Braedan got to meet some great people, like Laramy "Sasquatch" Miller, Martin from Duck Dynasty, Mark from Moonshiners and a very awesome guy, Kevin Blake Weldon who is a country singer in Nashville. He sang some great songs to Braedan that really made us all laugh, not to mention just really spending time to get to know him. One other person that we met, Joella Bates. Joella is a professional archer. She has so many achievements under her belt and a really amazing lady with a kind heart. We even met up with a couple of his old hunting buddies while we were there. He got to see one of his favorite Bear hunters, Billy "Catfish" Parker from Hank Parker's Flesh n Blood. Billy was also there with his wife Laura, so it was really great to meet her as well. Braedan loved joking around with Billy during his hunt, and they are both bonded for life now. We also got to see his favorite Turkey hunter, Uncle Bone Collector. Michael was there with all his crew from the Bone Collector, T Bone, Nick, Pops and even his wife Cristie was there. We were so happy to meet all of them and spend some time with them. Michael still wears Braedan's arm band that he gave him last spring when they hunted his first turkey together and says he thinks about him every day. Braedan holds a special place in his heart for Michael as well. We are really thankful to him for thinking of him and continuing to wear his arm band. All in all, the convention was a lot of fun and we are sure to be there again next year.
"Night at the Joe"
We had a great time at Braedan's first NHL game with the Detroit Red Wings. Braedan really enjoyed the game. After the game, we were invited to go to the locker room to see all the equipment and hersey of past and present players. Pretty Awesome! Braedan had a special surprise waiting for him in the hall way, Pavel Datsyuk the Center for the Wings. Braedan thought it was so awesome that he came out to meet him after that long game.
Thanks to everyone at the Joe Louis Arena, Pavel and all that were involved to make this Great night happen for Braedan.
Braedan shot his 4th deer of the 2015 Season.
The Outdoor Dream Foundation set up a incredible Dream Hunt for Braedan. Braedan was chosen to head to Eastern North Carolina to hunt a black bear in December 2015. We had spoke to Chuck before coming and he gave us just about every scenerio that could happen. We think that we actually went through just about everything that could happen. It was incredibly intense, rugged, and a rush! And it was so awesome! We arrived on a Sunday evening and joined everyone for dinner next door to where we were staying. We no sooner sat down, and Braedan had a line up of guys eager to meet him and introduce themselves to him. We knew right away that we were in good company and grew even more excited about the hunt. We had adventure after adventure each day and it was an experience that none of us will forget. We met some extremely kind hearted people and have so many great memories. All these men involved in this hunt were so hard working and showed such dedication and team effort that I really can not even put in to words. We were so touched by all that they did and will never forget them for this time in Braedan's life. This hunt was filmed by Hank Parkers Flesh and Blood and will be aired on their show sometime this year on the Outdoor Channel. For more information on Hank Parks Flesh and Blood you can go to http://outdoorchannel.com/hank-parkers-flesh-and-blood and find them on facebook. We will be sure to update our page when we know when it is airing. For more information on the Outdoor Dream Foundation you can go to http://outdoordream.org/ and also on facebook. Thank you to all that were involoved in making Braedan's Dream Hunt come true!!!
Braedan was offered the wonderful opportunity to hunt some prime hunting grounds in Williams County Ohio by 2 great fellow hunters. He not only got to hunt the land but he also got to learn some other fundamentals of hunting such as putting the bait out and checking the trail cams. It was a awesome day and it was his first big buck that he shot and he was quite thrilled by it! Thank you to Drew and Phil for inviting Braedan out for this great hunt.
2015 Wheeling Sportsmen's Deer Hunt at Maumee By State Park. Always a great time with so many great people and many of them have become almost like family to us over the last 2 years now. They do a wonderful job at putting this hunt on and it is a lot of work offering guides to those that need assistance and or not experienced in hunting. They offer a hunt for the handicap and for the youth at Maumee Bay every fall. The Wheeling Sportsmen are a chapter out of the National Wildlife Turkey Federation and are a wonderful group of outdoorsmen and women. We are so blessed that we have them in our life and look for more adventures to come with them. If you want more information on how you can support them or how to apply for a hunt please go to http://maumeevalleynwtf.com/about/.
Halloween weekend we headed over to Loudonville, OH to a place called The Buckhaven Learning Center that hosted their first ever "Hunt for Hope". It is a deer hunt set up for kids with disabilities, and Braedan was invited to participate and we were honored that they chose him to do so. They started this year off with 4 hunters, and did an amazing job planning it taking in donations from several businesses and hunting sponsors. Thank you to Scott and Heidi Meshew for organizing this wonderful opportunity for Braedan and the other 3 boys. We had an amazing weekend getting to know everyone, sharing stories and enjoying each others company. The boys seem to have an great time not only hunting but just being boys! Thank you to Denny and Dottie Campbell for extending your awesome ranch out to these great boys to have this happen! It was definately more memories to cherish. And Braedan shot his very first deer, which just added to the weekend being even more wonderful.
Braedan had an amazing weekend hunting at Sunrize Acres near Jackson MI, which happens to be the ranch belonging to Ted Nugent, the "Motor City Mad Man", but I have to say this man has an extra kind heart when it comes to kids. He was so great with Braedan! From talking to him, signing everything you can imagine including a Mossy Oak guitar for Braedan to keep, and even playing for us all and having Braedan right next to him the whole time. He even through Braedan's name in to the song that we all love so much, Fred Bear. It was so awesome, Braedan didn't really know how to even react to it. He was a bit shy, but we know that he took it all in because that evening after returned home... he got the guitar out and was trying to play and sing Fred Bear like Ted. So that was not the only highlight to his weekend, he got his Wild Hog that he went to hunt. And he got to hunt it just like he wanted. He stalked it! We went out in a truck that afternoon, and found a group of them and he got out and set his tri pod up for his 308 rifle, and lined it up after picking the one he wanted of course. And boom.. he nailed it but it didn't got down. So they moved up the path while I stayed back to watch by the truck, and they lined up on him again and he shot it again and this time right to the heart. It moved out of site, and I drove the truck up and picked them up. We drove ahead a little and found it laying next to a bail of hay still alive. So we let it go and moved ahead for the other hunter, Steve that was with us to get one and we were going to go back. We drove ahead about 10 feet, and Braedan say's "Look!" The hog was back up again looking up the path at us. We had the Bionic Boar, I believe! He had to finish it off one more time as it moved on to a little wooded area next to the path way. All in all, it was a great and exciting hunt for Braedan and the important thing was that he loved it! One other thing that we would love to share, is that we met some really incredible endearing other sportsmen and women that Braedan seemed to really touch. There was a Marine, Jeremy who even gave Braedan his base coin that they have. WHich was really cool, and Braedan is cherishing that. Each one of them got a Tshirt from Braedan's Bridge, and a few asked Braedan to sign their shirt. And we thought Ted was the only celebrity there. It was great! We love the Out Door Community so much! They have shown to us over the past year, that we have their support, love and prayers and that means so much to us. Thank you and God Bless you all!
School has begun, and Braedan is now in the Fourth Grade. SO hard to believe..... He is growing too fast. He will be 10 on September 28th, again hard to believe. I only wish we can hold back time, but I know that is not possible. We have had a couple adventurous trips this summer, with Africa and then a trip out West to visit the Grand Canyon and several other states and National Parks. Our endevor is to show Braedan the World as much as possible. We want him to experience everything that life has to offer as much as possible. We even made time to visit Vegas for a day, which was quite interesting. Wrapping up all that and on his way to more adventure this fall. As you all know that he has become a MIGHTY hunter, and he has some pretty incredible hunts planned for his this fall. He will be travel to Ted Nugent's Ranch to hunt a wild hog, Loudonville, OH for deer and to Eastern North Carolina on a Bear hunt. And that is just a few things. He will also be hunting deer in our area as well. He is so excited!!!! He has his turkeys mounted from this past Spring and is ready to add to his collection.
In May 2014, we decided to look in to Make A Wish for Braedan. Always being a little hesitant about it, we were kind of talked in to getting it started. After speaking with them, we found out that Make A Wish is a lot more then what everyone believes them to be. It is not only the kids that are terminally ill that are granted wishes anymore, and they have a great group of volunteers that work for them. Before we knew it, we were meeting with volunteers at our home and they took the time to learn much about Braedan. During the year span, we spoke to our volunteer off and on, and we were all set with our passports. A year later, almost to the day we met again and his AMAZING wish was granted. We were going to South Africa. Braedan wanted to see the animals in their habitat on a real safari and they did that and much more. We headed there on June 12th and we were in South Africa for 10 days experiencing so many things. Everyone made Braedan feel so special, every where that we went. And our guides that were with us from the agencies were truly incredible people. We love them so much! We want to thank Make A Wish, Go Way Travel and all that have been involved in making Braedan's Dream Trip come true. It was truly a memorable time that we will cherish in our hearts forever!
2015 Wheeling Sportsmen's and NWTF Turkey Hunt. It was an amazing weekend. Dream come true for our little hunter. We met so many incredible people this weekend. The hunters, guides, volunteers and friends and family had such kind hearts and were their for the purpose of helping the hunters. Braedan had the wonderful opportunity to have a amazing guide with his hunt, Michael Waddell "The Bone Collector". They bagged themselves a 23.5 lb Tom Turkey in no time!
Braedan and his animal adventures that he loves to have. Though he loves animals so much he also enjoys hunting.
He understands about overpopulation of certain animals and has really gotten out and enjoyed some hunting and fishing.
He loves the outdoors and is a country boy at heart!