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Big Country Children's Benefit Hunt hosts event in the Panhandle

Children in the foster care system had their chance this weekend to not only learn how to hunt, but to spend time in the great outdoors (ABC 7 Amarillo - Morgan Burrell).

Deer season is in full swing and that means kids around the Texas Panhandle are bagging their first buck.

"They did everything they could do to find that deer for me and it touched my heart," said Hailey Miley, who attended the Big Country Children's Benefit Hunt.

Miley is not a part of the foster care system anymore, she was recently adopted. Miley attended a hunt in Abilene, but she also came out to the BCCBH hunt that was hosted in Hedley, too.

"Getting to take pictures of the girls and stuff with their deer last night, oh my gosh that was exciting to see. They were just in heaven," said Mandy Cartright, the property owner who hosted the hunt.

Program director Marshall Davidson said this hunt is something that hits home for him.

"I kept thinking there's 27,000 kids more or less in foster care," said Davidson. "What am I doing? What am I doing to help them out? Because every day I complain that they don't have enough opportunities and things going on so what am I doing?"

The hunt is a program of BCFS Health and Human Services. Representative Will said the six children who hunted this weekend learned new skills.

"One of the youth she got her first deer this weekend. The range of emotions she went through was happy to sad to excited to ecstatic, like she couldn't believe what happened," said Will.

Randy Bond, Chief Deputy for Donley County, said this type of event is something foster children do not experience often.

"They don't even get to come and look at the nice, beautiful ranch, ride four-wheelers, zip lines, it's about getting together and doing something that they will cherish and remember forever," said Bond.

"When that little girl comes up to you and gives you a hug and says thank you, thank you, thank you," said Kerry Cartright, the property owner. "That's worth a million bucks."

The Big Country Children's Benefit Hunt also happens in Abilene. Saturday and Sunday was the first time they made the hunt a two-day trip. There is already plans to host another one in the Panhandle next year.


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