Neymar Marango, a young 15-year-old boy from Panama, has the right to feel sorry for himself. Born with a defect in his right leg that eventually required that the leg be amputated.
But Neymar wasn’t feeling sorry for himself last weekend. He was hopping around on his left leg and shouting for joy in his native tongue when he stood over the fallen doe he had shot.
Neymar was hunting as a guest of the Dream Hunt Foundation with details of the hunt provided by his guide, Hunter Brown.
“Neymar and his father are here from Panama staying at Shriner’s Hospital where he awaits to get fitted for a prosthesis,” Brown said. “Dream Hunt Foundation has a special arrangement with Shriner’s where we are introduced to kids in that facility who show an interest in the outdoors. In fact, we took Neymar fishing a few weeks ago and in the process learned he had an interest in hunting as well. That’s what sealed the deal for us to put him in a deer stand with us last weekend.”
The youth was settled in his stand with a group including Brown who served as camera operator, guide Micah Arbuckle, and Kenny Gallion, a native of Colombia who served as translator since Neymar speaks no English.
“The day before, we took him out to where we would be hunting in Red River Parish, taught him firearm safety and gave him the chance to shoot. He was ready for the hunt the next morning,” Brown said.
Settling into the stand before daylight, the hunting party begin seeing several deer moving out onto the food plot. Neymar settled the crosshairs on a big doe, hit the trigger and watched as the deer took off.
“We knew his shot was true and that he had hit the deer, which didn’t run far but ran into a thick area,” Brown said. “Neymar joined us on his crutches as we followed the blood trail to where the deer had fallen. It was an emotional experience to see this young boy jumping around on crutches, grinning and yelling in his own language. It’s an experience I’m so thankful I was there to witness.”
Dream Hunt Foundation is a Louisiana-based non-profit organization whose mission is to help kids with special needs or the underprivileged to fulfill dreams of getting to experience a hunt of a lifetime.
Founded in 2013, the Foundation’s reason for being has to do with the belief that kids between the ages of 8 and 18 whose lives have been otherwise focused on their disability, illness or limited resources, could have the opportunity to love the outdoors in an organized hunting or fishing experience.
The organization is partnered with Shriner’s Hospital in Shreveport and it is that partnership that resulted in Nemar having an experience he won’t soon forget.
“I am a bowhunter myself and it’s something I dearly love,” said Brown, who has already taken a 12 point buck with his bow this season. “However as much enjoyment as I get from getting to deer hunt with my bow, getting to share this experience through Dream Hunt Foundation with youngsters with special needs is more rewarding to me than when I’m settling the sight pin of my bow on a good buck.”
For more information about this worthwhile organization, log on to www.dreamhunt.tv.com.
Glynn Harris’ Outdoors appears Tuesdays or Fridays in the MInden Press-Herald.