BIG HEARTS UNDER THE BIG SKY MAKES “MONTANA ELK HUNT” COME TRUE FOR THREE DESERVING MONTANANS
Hunting Experiences Hosted by Montana Hunting Company and Montana Outfitting Company
Nov 1, 2022
Clancy, MT – Big Hearts Under the Big Sky, a program of the Montana Outfitters and Guides Association (MOGA), has completed the sixth “family adventure” scheduled for the year. The latest recipients were Nate Jensen of Westby, Master Sgt Jesse Edinger of Helena and Sgt Patrick Wickens originally of Denton.
Big Hearts under the Big Sky covers all the hard costs for qualifying families to participate in outfitter-supported trips. Since 2008, the organization has served hundreds of individuals and their families and donated over half a million in outfitted services.
As Big Hearts under the Big Sky’s trip recipients, all were granted trip-of-a-lifetime elk hunts. The Jensen and Edinger families were led by Outfitter Rod Arnaud, of the Montana Hunting Company at the West Creek Ranch in Paradise Valley, MT and the Wickens family were led by Chris Faber, Montana Outfitting Company on the Big Spring Ranch in Lewistown, MT.
“It was a privilege to host Big Hearts Under the Big Sky for the 9th year at West Creek Ranch,” said Jon Martin, CEO of AMB West, the parent company of West Creek Ranch. “This year’s recipients, Nate and Jesse, along with their families, were a pleasure to take care of; and were an inspiration to our team members. West Creek Ranch is honored to support Big Hearts under the Big Sky and their model of providing deserving recipients and their families a unique, positive, and fulfilling experience. Our team considers this program one of the most rewarding weeks of the year.”
“Big Spring Ranch and the Jones family were honored to be part to the Big Hearts under the Big Sky’s trip for Sgt Patrick Wickens,” said Roy Paulson, General Manager, Big Spring Ranch. “The Jones family has a deep commitment to conservation and service to others making this relationship in complete alignment with the Big Springs Ranch mission. We look forward to partnering with Big Hearts again.”
Sgt Wickens, a combat wounded Purple Heart recipient, qualified for the donated HD 454 permit as part of the Fish Wildlife and Parks 454 program. Big Spring Ranch generously donated the permit to Wickens in recognition of his service to our Nation.
About the Recipients
Nate Jensen of Westby, MT, participated along with his parents and brother. Nate is 19 years old and lives on the family farm. Born with spina bifida, Nate has undergone 11 surgeries and been challenged by multiple medical issues.
Master Sgt Jesse Edinger of Helena, MT, was joined by his wife Sunwoo (Sun), his two daughters and one son. For 20 years, Edinger has served his country proudly and has honored the lives of more than 1000 Montana veterans. His wife, Sun also serves in the Montana Army National Guard.
Sgt Patrick Wickens is originally from Denton, Montana and was joined by his youngest son Carter and his parents Judy and Keith Wickens of Denton. Wickens joined the US Army one month before the attacks of September 11. Wickens was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) during an ambush near Mahmudiyah, Iraq and lost his right leg above the knee and sustained shrapnel wounds and burns on his left leg.
About Big Hearts Under the Big Sky
Big Hearts Under the Big Sky is a program of the Montana Outfitter & Guides Association. While there are many organizations throughout the country that host “wish” trips for deserving participants, Big Hearts Under the Big Sky is unique in that we work with qualified and licensed outfitters and guides throughout Montana to serve both individuals and their families.
The program is dedicated to providing fully outfitted trips to military service members and others who have provided extraordinary service to our country and for children who face life-threatening illnesses. Our focus is on the family experience: “Making a difference, one family at a time!”
Big Hearts Under the Big Sky covers all the hard costs for families to participate in outfitter-supported trips and experience the healing beauty and power of Montana. Over the years, the organization has served hundreds of individuals and their families, with MOGA member outfitters providing the donated trips, all at no cost to trip recipients.
Big Hearts under the Big Sky will host its annual Banquet and Fundraiser on January 14, 2023, in Helena at Delta Hotels by Marriott Helena Colonial. Proceeds will be applied to serving the next round of families as part of the 15th year of service.
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