In October of 2020, the Condition One Foundation sponsored Phil, a combat veteran who served in the United States Army, for an opening weekend rifle hunt. We had a short window to get Phil on the hunt for a bull elk, but the elk just were not cooperating. The weather took a turn for the worst and the morning of opening day left 8 inches of new snow and plummeting temperatures to single digits.
We spent the day with Phil glassing, looking for elk, but our efforts were futile. In the meantime, we were finding a lot of whitetail deer and Phil said he had never had the chance to harvest a whitetail buck. On Saturday evening when the wind died down and the weather cleared up just a bit, Phil found a great buck that he wanted to make a stalk on.
After sneaking into position, the buck was in a great spot to take a shot. Phil chambered a round in his .270 WSM and squeezed off a shot that dropped the buck where he stood. Phil’s face lit up with the biggest smile and we exchanged high-fives and some curse words as Phil completed his mission. When Phil walked up to that buck and put his hands on his antlers, the moment cannot be described in words.
All said and done, the mission was a success and Condition One, through your gracious donations, provided Phil with this opportunity at a new experience that has undoubtedly changed his life for the better. It was overwhelmingly apparent that this instance had an unbelievably positive effect on Phil and proof that the outdoors can and will be a benefit to a person’s mental health and wellbeing.