Disabled hunt big success

Published 2:12 pm Friday, January 23, 2009

Local outdoorsmen Russell Smith and Mike Layard hosted the fifth annual National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) Lake Seminole Spurs Paul Faircloth Sr. Memorial Wheelin’ Sportsman deer hunt Jan. 16-17, in Gadsden County, Fla.

The hunt was held on Smith’s family property, which was the original Amos Davis Plantation. The event was named in memory of Smith’s late uncle, Paul Faircloth Sr., a prominent Apopka, Fla., nurseryman, who was born in Gadsden County and had a big heart for people less fortunate than himself.

Ten deer were harvested, five bucks and five does. Smith and Layard harvested six shirt tails as well. Smith termed the opportunity to watch men enjoy the outdoors and hunting, despite their disabilities, a wonderful experience.

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“Everyone who helps with the hunt feels blessed by the opportunity to share in the project,” he said. “Most of the disabled hunters were from Georgia and Florida, but some came from as far away as Minnesota, New Mexico, South Carolina and Alabama.”

Smith said, “The project of inviting disabled persons to enjoy a safe hunting experience and fellowship with other outdoor lovers has proven to be a highly successful and heart warming.”

Chad Gerlough had an eight-point buck, and Jim Sursely had a six-point buck.

Clay Armstrong of Donalsonville, a former employee of the paper mill at Cedar Springs, who received third degree burns over 70 percent of his body in a boiler explosion at the mill in 2006, ceremonially had his shirttail cut.