By Alexis (Boo) Seibert
Jan 22, 2008
Sponsored by BowTech Archery.
In my last article I wrote about passing on the sport of archery to others.
This August I had to opportunity to meet a great man who is doing just that in another way.
I felt very grateful to be asked to be a part of a special 3-D archery benefit shoot put on by the DSA. DSA stands for the Disabled Sportsman of America. It is a very special nonprofit organization that helps Disabled hunters and Archers pursue the outdoor passion that we all love. DSA puts on hunts for many different types of game including whitetail deer, wild boar, exotic, and this year they?re even including duck. They?ll help anyone with a disability especially a permanent one. In many of these cases the disabled person may have been a hunter before they became disabled, and for others they may have never had the chance to go hunting.
Alexis spends some time with DSA founder Todd Smelser.
DSA was founded by Todd Smelser.
Todd has worked very hard and with very little resources has made the dreams of many others come true.
This great shoot was held at Eaglewings Archery in Knoxville Tn. We found out about the shoot through a local website (www.Tndeer.com). The benefit shoot was going to be held for a soldier named Mark O’Brien. Mark is from Buffalo NY and had been injured by an IED during the war in Iraq which cost him his arm and his leg. One of Mark?s wishes was to go on a hog hunt with his dad in Crockett TX. MY Ranch, Todd, and DSA were on a mission to make this happen and this shoot would be their ticket to help him.
My family and I arrived in Knoxville a day early to be at the shoot first thing in the morning. Once we arrived at Eaglewings we saw that this was going to be a special shoot. The parking lot was full and once we got to the registration tent we knew why. People came from all over, some driving for several hours just to be a part of this shoot. Once we stepped in the reception area we saw that several companies had come to help sponsor the shoot. Horton Crossbows donated one of their full rigged crossbow for Mark to use on his hunt. Several other companies including Easton, Doinker, Neat Products, Tndeer.com, Knoxville Kroger Grocery, and Eaglewings archery, had donated a ton of door prizes.
The shoot itself was great but the day was HOT! It was a tough shoot with many challenging uphill and downhill slopes. Some targets were hidden in spots where the bushes covered half of the ten ring ! It was fun though meeting lots of people that we had only known online. You know, we drove a very long way to go to this shoot and there were many who drove even farther. As far as the actual course, it was pretty much the same thing that I could find at a nearby archery course.
But it wasn?t the shoot that everyone came for it was the great cause behind it which was to help this one man go hunting in Texas with his dad. It may not seem like much to some people but it meant the world to Mark so it meant everything to us to get him there. After all, look what he?d already given us.
Slowly overcoming devastating injury, Mark works hard to rehabilitate.
With all the help of the great sponsors and shooters, the DSA was able to raise enough money to send Mark and his dad to TX for the boar hunt. The DSA is helping hundreds of disabled shooters everywhere.
I have a lot of people that sponsor me and help me to get to shoots. They help me with my equipment and I?m very fortunate and I’m fortunate to be in a position where I can help someone else.
We fight to win in an archery competition, but this man fights for our freedom to have an archery competition. Disabled Shooters of America is a great organization and there are several other organizations that deserve our support as well. Something I?d like everyone to do, is ask yourselves, what have you done to support archery? I urge everyone to help a hunter achieve their dreams. You can donate by going to:
Until next time, keep shooting the ten ring!