BERLIN, WISCONSIN – October 18, 2018 – Earlier this week, Badger Mining Corporation (BMC) completed its 18th year as a company sponsor of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ (WDNR) annual deer gun hunt for people with disabilities. The WDNR began the hunt in 1990 in order to provide hunting opportunities for individuals with certain disabilities at a time of year when temperatures are generally milder and mobility in the woods and fields is easier – even though that certainly may not have been the case this year between the fluctuating temperatures and extensive rain. Badger Mining began participating in the program in 2001 for one of its now-retired associates who was injured in a swimming accident decades ago.
Originally taking place only at BMC’s St. Marie property in Green Lake County, the hunt has since expanded to include BMC’s Fairwater property in Green Lake and Fond du Lac Counties in 2006, its Taylor property in Jackson and Trempealeau Counties in 2008, and its Merrillan property in Jackson County last year. Throughout the four properties, BMC accommodated 17 hunters this year, 5 of which were new and 12 that were returning. Bob Bartol, the retired associate that was Badger Mining’s first hunter in 2001, was able to participate in the hunt again this year. He did not get a deer, but he certainly enjoyed being in the outdoors for two nights of the season. This year’s hunters ranged in age from 12 to 75 years old and came from every corner of the state of Wisconsin to participate.
For many of the hunters like Bob, just getting out into the woods and fields to experience a deer hunt is an opportunity that truly resonates with them. One returning hunter said, “Thanks Badger Mining, Green Lake County, the St. Marie property, and my great friends! I will treasure these memories forever!” And while many of the hunters are grateful for the chance to hunt again, the BMC associates that volunteer their time to help guide these hunters end up just as thankful and heartened from the experience.
Over the past 18 years, BMC has touched the lives of 105 different individuals, and even though many hunters found success this year, the deer is only a bonus. As a new hunter’s daughter said, “Although the buck was the icing on the cake, this experience with him and my husband was one I’ll never forget!”
“While not all hunters end up getting a deer, all come out of the hunt with smiles, new friendships, and simple gratitude” says Tiffany Thoma, environmental associate at BMC. “The lifelong memories made by all the participants each season make BMC’s decision to continue doing the special hunt each year an easy one.”