Lansing Safari Club 2022 Wish Hunt

 In Humanitarian Services, Hunting Stories

by Ed H Edwards, Lansing Chapter Member, avid hunter, and fisherman

The 2022 Wish Hunt was successful in providing hope through a quality hunting experience and fellowship.

Lord, you are my hope; I’ve trusted you from childhood. Psalm 71:5

“If you like this buck you can take it” whispered guide Ryan Gatti. Collin the hunter replied, “I don’t know.” Collin’s father Jody resisted the temptation of taking the rifle and doing the deed, it was that kind of buck! Big-bodied and a rack to match!

Every year the Lansing, Michigan Chapter of Safari Club International sponsors a child in partnership with the Foundation for Hope Outdoor Adventures at Cedar Hollow Lodge near Grayling, Michigan for a long weekend of hunting and fellowship. Financing for this cause is generated via a reverse auction at our annual fundraiser in memory of Jim Leonard a founding board member of the chapter and responsible for spearheading this worthy cause many years ago.

As a board member, I attend the hunt and festivities as a sponsor rep and cheerleader for our sponsored hunter.

Foundation for Hope Outdoor Adventures is a 501 (C ) (3) non-profit that provided outdoor adventures for youth fighting life-challenging health issues and is in its 23rd year. The foundation fills the need for a child wanting a hunting experience that other hope/wish foundations do not provide. {n addition to SCI other partners Leupold, Nosler, and the Detroit Lions provide equipment and financing. The Wildlife Gallery provides a shoulder mount for each hunter.

This year in addition to the hunt, taxidermy, and deluxe lodging each hunter receives a backpack containing Leupold binoculars, an I-pad, a bible, and several small items. 

Now Back to the 2022 Wish Hunt!

Fall weather in Northern Michigan is typically wet, overcast, cold, and windy. This year it was dry, sunny, and dead calm, and the high temperature was nearly 70F every day of the event.

The first evening we set up in a favorite ground blind which has woods on three sides and faces a small greenfield plot. A beautiful night to be outdoors but the deer were not moving. That evening we saw three does and a buck that was well below the 150 to 180 slot the lodge sets for the hope hunts.

Antlers, especially big antlers evoke feeling only a hunter can know and have been in our souls since the earliest human hunters. Evidence is the paintings made on the walls of caves illustrated with large antlered deer. These paintings as best are surmised as a pride-filled record of the deer the painter had bagged. These early hunters emphasized the size of the deer’s antlers by skewing the deer’s head at an unnatural angle to its body to illustrate the antlers more prominently. But why should the size have mattered to a hunter then or now? The early hunters used antlers to fabricate tools including but not limited to hand shovels, ladles, spears, and fish hooks. Any rack would certainly be adequate to make such items.

There is no question that size does matter. All those feelings a deer evokes in us are increased exponentially it seems when the deer carries a magnificent rack.

The buck Ryan gave the go-ahead to take the following morning shortly after daylight on day two brought out such emotions! Wide, heavy, and many points. A massive non-typical rack in every possible way. The brow tines were so long, massive, and forked they created a rack-within-a-rack!

Collin concentrated on the task and carefully got his Ruger American ready for a shot. Within two minutes the buck turned broadside and the BOOM-SHAKALAKA of the 350 Legend send the buck on a rocking horse gallop for about 100 yards. We were able to keep the buck in sight and had a good idea of where it went down. The behavior of the buck indicated a solid liver hit so just to be safe we gave it 30 minutes before following up. The buck was down and out close to the last spot we could see him from the blind. 

After dragging the deer out to the two-track we took pictures to document the success of using advanced technology compared to our ancient ancestors but in the end, the same objective was to remember the hunt and good fellowship. 

Foundation for Hope hunts is an honor and privilege to attend not to mention very humblingly. Health allowing and God willing I hope to attend many more


Safari Club International is the leading voice in the fight to protect the freedom to hunt, both in the United States and internationally. The SCI Departments of Legal Advocacy Resources and International Affairs and Government Relations are headquartered in Washington, D.C., advocating on behalf of SCI members and non-members alike. From staff dedicated to legislation and policy to a team of litigators, SCI hunter advocacy is at the forefront of protecting the hunting heritage. SCI and the SCI Foundation provide the voice of the hunter in treaties that affect hunting and wildlife conservation worldwide. This is where SCI and SCI Foundation go beyond what other hunter organizations do and why their work in this arena is critical to preserving the right to hunt.  Plus, we have lots of fun and events like this one!

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