2017 Hunts

A nice deer taken by Matt Hargrave, Killdeer, ND.

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Matt Jameson, Bismarck, ND with his buck taken north of Killdeer.

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Isaac Graham harvested this buck near the Little Missouri River north of Killdeer.

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Jim Heimerl, Medina, MN with his deer taken north of Fryburg.

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Brandon Burguss, North Liberty, IA, with a  muley in the badlands.

 

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Jacob Volk, Devils Lake, ND with a nice buck he harvested at Baldhill Creek Adventures near Binford, ND. George Berger, the owner/operator of Baldhill Creek Adventures, donates one hunt each year to our heroes.volk

Gerald Graffsgaard, Bismarck, ND is all smiles after harvesting this buck north of Grassy Butte.

We received this note from Michael Graffsgaard, Gerald's brother: "I want to thank your organization for providing such a wonderful opportunity for my brother (and I, for that matter). We had a great time. The hosts (Bob and Brenda Carson) were tremendous and the accomodations were nothing short of first class. In the end, a deer was harvested (though the smallest of five bucks we saw) and a good time was had by all. Three Viet Nam era veterans spent time reminiscing in the garage after the hunt and I think it was good therapy for all. I will pick on my brother a long time for shooting the smallest of the bucks he had a chance at, but that is what hunting partners do:). 


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David Lewis, Newark, OH, with this season's first deer. Lewis also had a successful day fishing at Lake Tschida. 


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2016 Hunts

Logan Wallace, Killdeer, ND, near Halliday.

Chris Meier, Lawrenceville, GA at Kelly's Kustom Meats in Halliday, ND. Deer taken north of Killdeer.

 Eric Dewald, Devils Lake, ND, near Killdeer.

Mike Putnam, Bismarck, ND, north of Killdeer.

 Tom Imhol, Lincoln City, OR, in the Killdeer Mountains.

John Lisle, Williston, ND, north of Killdeer.

 

Tim Dingey, Fairbanks, AK, north of Dickinson.

James Wren, Devils Lake, ND, in the Badlands.

Chad Grensky, Norman, OK near Killdeer.

 

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Gordon Thoreson, Voltaire, ND with the deer he harvested at Baldhill Creek Adventures. 

2015 Hunts

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Grant Stafford, Vandalia, MO, took this buck near Grafton, ND.

 

 

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Sean Debevoise, Hamlet, NC is all smiles after harvesting a deer in the Killdeer Mountains.

 

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Gary Krause, Woodruff, WI, took this deer northwest of Killdeer. With Krause is Dan Dolechek, IMWP President. 

 

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Read more...

2014 Hunts

 

 

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Dennis Eller, Tacoma, WA with his deer taken near Binford, ND at Baldhill Creek Adventures. Eller also bagged several pheasants while hunting.

Eller later wrote:

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you and your organization with all my heart. The recent trip I took to George Berger's outfitters ranch was one of the best experiences I' ve had in my entire life.

Ever since my first deployment in 2004 to Baghdad, Iraq I've been wound up pretty tight,. After three combat tours and several years of trying to get my life back on track since I got out in 2010, I've not had many opportunities to just relax and enjoy everything around me. You and George gave me that, and I can never repay you for that.

When George first picked me up at the airport he asked me a simple question, one that I hadn't even thought of myself, "What is it I wanted out of this?" I know that he meant what size of deer did I want - but when I was faced with that actual question it made me realize that I wanted something far more important; so I answered him, "I just want a great experience". And that is exactly what George and his friends gave me.

 Driving through the farms and fields of eastern North Dakota was wonderful. Every hill and stream bed had a story and it made me imagine what it must have been like to ride a horse with the native tribes or with a cavalry troop during the 1800's. Seeing all types of animals from deer, to pheasant, to grouse, and everything in between was one beautiful sight after another. I realize that George and his friends were working really hard to make sure that I punched my tag and got a deer but just being there was enough for me.

Since I've been out, I've been trying very hard to get my life back on track. I left the Army thinking that an Infantry Officer with Special Operations experience would have no trouble finding a job - but I was wrong. I've been going back to school, working, trying to be a good husband and father, and somewhere along the way simply forgot to ever stop and just enjoy whiat I have. I've been running for so long to forget the past and create a new future that I'd started missing out on the important parts of life. Your trip that you gave me allowed me to have those moments of peace in which I was able to reflect and realize that everything has happened for a reason and in the end I am a much better person for it.

 This year I was able to go and see many of my old soldiers once more for our 10-year reunion of our deployment. I have maintained contact with many of them since 2004, but this was one the few times in which a large group of us reunited in person. We have lost many of our brothers to combat or to their losing their own fight with PTSD and the things that we had to do. Many of my men would definitely benefit from your organization and many more would simply like to help out - as I would also like to do.

Please keep up the good work - what you and your organization are doing is one of the greatest things that I have ever been a part of and I hope that you all know how much your actions and deeds impact those whom you have helped. When you go to meet St. Peter he will not have to ask what you have done because many men before you will have already told him.

Thank you.

R Dennis Eller

 

 

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Erik Askerlund, Killdeer, ND with his deer harvested north of Dunn Center, ND.

 

 

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Jory Buchweitz, Minot, ND with a nice buck harvested  north of Killdeer.

 

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Dane Steig, Minot, ND and his father, Dwight, with a nice deer taken north of Killdeer.

From Dane's wife, Heather, comes this note:

"Thank you for giving my husband the opportunity to hunt through your amazing program. I don't think you guys know how much of a positive impact you have on our veterans. I, being the wife of a veteran, have seen such a positive impact what your program has done for my husband. He is still talking about how much of a great time he had as well as the amazing hospitality you guys showed him. I am so happy you picked him for this hunt that he will remember forever. Thank you again".


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Josh Weinland, Congress, TX shot this nice buck north of Killdeer.

 

Ian                                                                                      Ian Placek, Bismarck, ND with a nice deer he shot north of Killdeer.











 

 

 

 

2013 Hunts

Seth Nieman, originally from Calvin, ND, took this nice muley north of Killdeer. A news story featuring Nieman (the video is gone but you can read the story) can be found at - http://www.kxnet.com/story/23396975/injured-military-wildlife-project

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Below (l to r) IMWP hunter, Matt Burke, from Newberry, FL with his deer; IMWP board member Bill Schaller; and George Berger, operator of Baldhill Creek Adventures of Binford, ND. Berger has donated an all-inclusive hunt each year to honor our injured veterans. Burke also harvested three roosters his last day of hunting. Burke's summary of the hunt appears below pictures.

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What an amazing time!!! There's no way I can articulate how much this meant to my family and me, but I'll try. Similar to many other wounded warriors, the mental and physical struggles go far beyond the reflection in the mirror. Our strife monopolizes relationships and self-efficacy. The Injured Military Wildlife Project hit a grand slam in full count, in the bottom of the ninth and down by three. You see, my bases are loaded with the potential of making a difference with my family and the surrounding community. I struggle with the fear of failure (like I'm always in full count), because of the constant mortar attacks I faced in Afghanistan. It felt like my clock was ticking and one of those suckers could drop on my head at any moment... no place was safe. I continue to feel as if I have little control over my situations. However, while at Baldhill Creek Adventures, George showed me that trusting in someone else is paramount to success. He, Mark, and Wayne were an amazing combination in showing me the thrill of the chase; something I had lost along the way. When they pushed a buck to me in an open field I felt a pulse of adrenaline that had long been buried. My position was perfect, my aim steady, but my calculation and equipment failed me. I squeezed off the first of five rounds when that buck was in full sprint (by the way, I've never seen a whitetail run like that) quickly closing the distance at a little over 100 yards. I lead him just a little too much. Quickly chambering another round, the gun jammed. I could not get the pump action back in forward position. No matter how hard I tried, the situation was in my hands and I was unable to capitilize. Wow, when everything calmed down I was filled with joy and anguish simultaneously.

George assured me there would be another opportunity as we headed back to camp.When we arrived at camp, George spotted a buck topping a hill. We decided to make a move on it. We drove as close as possible then topped the same hill with stealthy intentions. He was nowhere in sight. As George began to top another hill I saw the buck about 400 yards to the north working his way into some trees. We determined that he was bedded down and George went after the ATV. We made a move on him from downwind, but he saw us and stood up. George backed up and we put a stalk on him, which led me to crawl to the top of a hill. As I peaked over the hill I could see him walking directly at us. I set up and made a clean shot when he presented an opening. He ran right up to us and dropped! As I basked in the success of this stalk hunt, I realized that I am still capable. When George left me to go get everyone and my new IMWP knife, I had ample time to reflect on the developments of the day. As I held my deer in solitude, I thanked God for everyone that assembled this hunt for us, and for creating such an amazing creature.

After the rush, I sat in the cabin reflecting on the events that had unfolded that morning. In absolute content, I now knew I still have what it takes to feed my family. Just then, Bill turned from the table and asked, "What now?" I was hoping a pheasant hunt was in the line up, but I didn't want to ask. Just like that, you made it happen. Before I could even stand up you were on the phone gearing me up for an addition to an extraordibnary day.

Hunting pheasants behind dogs is really neat. It uniquely holds its very own place in absolute awesomeness. I felt more nervous than when I was deer hunting; like I was sure to punch holes in the clouds. But I connected with the second rooster that busted the bushes. He folded up and fell to the round, dogs in hot pursuit to fetch him. George, Mark, and Wayne worked diligently to get me on birds and within two hours I had limited out with three roosters. 

 I was astonished at how Baldhill Creek Adventures and Injured Military Wildlife Project came together to get me back in the game. I know there were a lot of behind the scenes work that I didn't see, and I'm grateful for everyone that made this rehabilitative hunt come true.

Gratefully humble,

(Ret.) MSgt. Matthew R. Burke, USAF

 


 

 

Sgt. David Young, Devils Lake, ND took this buck north of Killdeer. Read Young's 'Thank You' note below photo. 

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"I would like to start by introducing myself. My name is SGT David Young, and I was part of the most incredible weekend I have had in a long time, thanks to the ND Injured Military Wildlife Project. I have been in the National Guard for 10 years. I was deployed to Iraq August 2005 to November 2006 with Alpha Company 164 out of Minot, ND. Our mission in Iraq was route clearance or "Trailblazer." The mission Trailblazer is exactly as it sounds; we go on patrol on all major supply routes and clear the roads of IED's (Improvised Explosive Devices) and insurgents. It was our job to ensure that every convoy, patrol, or local citizen that traveled the road behind us was always safe. Throughout the year our company found a total of 471 IED's, which to this day is still the most IED's found by one single company in a year's time frame. Every IED we would find factored out to be 1.7 American lives we would save. It was an awesome feeling knowing that our job was making a difference and saving lives every day!

The 471 IED's we found were not always an easy task. Sometimes the IED would find us first. Each soldier I was deployed with had the unfortunate day where they had encountered an IED blast. On a day when that would occur we relied greatly on the durability of our vehicles.

On May 20th, 2006 I was hit by an IED while I was in the gunner's hatch. The blast launched me up out of my seat and I hit my neck on the turrent, causing my neck to break. I also suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI). I spent the next month recovering on the base. I consider myself to be very fortunate to still have all my limbs and most importantly my life.

The events that day and my deployment still affect me. I have significant mobility issues and also suffer from headaches daily. However, the ultimate injury I sustained isn't visible. I suffer from PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. My mentality when I came home wasn't any different than when I left for my deployment, or so I thought. I soon realized that I wasn't the same person. In fact, no one who went on our deployment will ever be the same person they once were. A year after returning to day to day life my mentor in the Army took his own life. He was living with me at the time and was like a big brother to me. I had no idea how much he was suffering from PTSD until that day. I was with him at the time and tried everything in my power to stop him and let him know that we can find help together. I will never know what he was thinking or if I could have helped him now because it is too late.

After the events of the day I became very angry. I almost lost my wife from my anger. Thank God I had a good support system from family and friends to help me through that horrible time in my life. If it wasn't for my wife standing by me I'm not sure where I would be today.

While I traveling home from this incredible weekend of hunting, I tried to think of a way to explain to each and every one of you who helped make this dream of mine come true, just how significant and meaningful this weekend was to me and my family. When I got home and started to talk to my wife about this event, she looked at me and said that this was the first time she had seen me act like my old self since before Joe took his life. So you see, this weekend of hunting was not just fun and exciting for me, it was a life changing experience. I got to feel alive and free of stress for the first time since 2007. Besides seeing the birth of my children, this was one of the greatest days of my life. For that, I thank you, and my wife thanks you, too. Without your help and selflessness of providing this experience for people like me, I would have forgotten just what it felt like to be alive".

Sincerely,

SGT David A. Young

 

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