Hunting has always been a part of Blake’s life. As a Midwest Kid, he looks forward to deer hunting season and target shooting with his dad and has even traveled to TX to hunt Ram. His bucket list includes bear, moose, and alligator, but the number one wish he shared with us was an elk hunt. Blake spends much of his time being shuffled around between doctors including his transplant nephrologist at UW Madison, a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, and his primary physician in White Bear Lake. But when he learned about Wishes & More and began to focus on enjoying his wish, his outlook began to change.
Because of his innumerable health issues and setbacks, and because hunting season has its own calendar, Blake had to wait almost a year to see his wish fulfilled – but it was worth the wait! He had never hunted with a crossbow before, but his grandpa was proficient with its use, so he sent him a crossbow to practice in his backyard over the summer. Blake shared that he wanted grandpa to join the trip, so he and his dad got into the RV and made a detour through South Dakota to pick grandpa up on their way to Hayden, Colorado. Our outdoorsman enjoyed the incredible opportunity of a 5-day guided hunt with JB James of Beaver Valley Ranch Outfitters who provided lodging, guide and meals. Blake put in the work and woke up at 5am to hike miles through the foothills/mountains. Some of the terrain was VERY steep, dense, and rigorous. And he did it!! He paced himself when he needed to, took a break when he needed to. He was determined to experience every part of this opportunity. Typical of a true outdoorsman, he understands that the hunt isn’t just about the harvest, it’s about the experience. Even though his guided hunt didn’t end up with a cooler of meat and a mount to hang, he did return with memories to last a lifetime and a new outlook on life. Mom brought tears to our eyes when she posted on his CaringBridge site, “This elk hunt trip was potentially life changing for Blake. [It] proved to him that he can actively live his life AND be a cardiac & kidney transplant recipient. My hope is that one day he’ll realize just how momentous this entire experience was for him.” Wishing Blake years of experiencing more memorable hunts and enjoying every minute of the family bonding that comes with them.