Every year, Gabriel Farms holds a big hunt on their property and a couple of others as well. This hunt is held each year for Disabled Veterans, and it gives them the opportunity to participate in hunting activities, as well as a chance to embrace and enjoy the outdoors.
This all started ten years ago when Bill Frost (who is a retired teacher from Logan Elm High school), organized the first hunt in Pickaway, County.
Starting out at Deer Creek, they expanded it to have an additional hunt at Gabriel Farms nine years ago.
Being the organizer of the event, Bill spends endless hours all year long organizing the event to make sure that it is special, and during it, he is helping the Veterans out.
Diane Gabriel, of Gabriel Farms, shared with us a little bit about the Hunt and more of its history.
“It has gotten big enough that 2 other farms have been added, including the Mullins and the Dunn farms. Hunters come on Saturday and do bow shooting contests, then head out to the woods to hunt for deer.”
She goes on to explain that each Veteran has a guide that hangs out with them throughout the day until the hunt ends at dusk with a large meal in the evening.
While giving us a tour of the barn that the meal is held in, Diane told a bit about the excitement that goes on the following day, when the hunt resumes.
“Sunday, the hunters return and hunt again all afternoon. That evening there is another meal and an awards ceremony.”
There are a lot of memories made at these events – whether you’re a Veteran partaking in the hunt, or you’re helping out as a guide or an extra hand.
For Diane, there is one thing in particular that she loves about this event each year.
“For me, [my] favorite part is watching all the men and women come together as comrades to share a fun activity. Some of these Vets are in wheelchairs or have PTSD, and to see them so excited – it is like watching all of the fears and problems wash away for a bit of time.” she explains, while adding: “They only come once a year, but it feels like a family reunion of people from all walks of life. Also seeing so many community members and groups come together to help with the event because they truly care is uplifting.” she concludes.
Dan Fout was a Veteran that helped with the event till March of 2016 when he passed away. The event was since renamed from the Pickaway Co Disabled Vets hunt after his passing to the Dan Fout Memorial Vet Hunt.
The Dan Fout Memorial Vet Hunt starts on Oct 26th and 27th and will take place in Circleville at the Gabriel Farm. There will be a follow-up event on November 9th at Deercreek.