Bo Prieskorn writes, "I just had an amazing weekend... Our first rifle hunt went 4 for 4 and one of our hunters was handicap. Mike was in an accident 6 years ago, which left him completely BLIND. Mike didn't let this stop him from doing what he always enjoyed, hunting. When I was first approached about this, I too wondered how are we going to pull this off. Well, we did!!!! Mike has a special camera that looks through the scope and projects the image on a 2"x2" LCD screen. He rests the rifle on shooting sticks and we guide him on the target with voice commands (right, right, left, left...hold). When he's on the target we give him the shoot command (gun) and Mike lets one go. Believe me, this is totally amazing... We didn't treat Mike any differently then any other hunter. We made him walk/stalk, sit in the cold while we try to call in elk, and everything every other hunter does. Mike got his first bull elk (5x5) on the 3rd night. His shot was one for the books...355 yards center mass behind the shoulder and did I say, HE'S BLIND!! Congrats Mike and thanks for allowing us to share in this very special memory. Brazos River Ranch...(http://www.nmoutfitter.com)"
Here's Mike's story as told by himself
Mike writes, "We woke up at 4:30am October 1, 2009, first day of the hunt. It was very cold out. Michele and I prepared our hunting rig and headed out to the mess hall for some much needed coffee. Boy was it cold. We met Bo and the rest of the hunters and made a plan.
We loaded up in the jeep, that had no top on it, I thought,"my wife is going to freeze back there!" She said she was ok so off we went into the darkness down a dirt road. A couple of miles in we stopped at an old wood pile next to a trailer. Bo said,"Mike, we need to walk down this road about 150 yards. Are you ready?" I said, "yes lets go".
Once we got down the road a ways Bo started to call in the elk. We stood there for a bit and heard one coming in. Bo asked, "where are we going to set up?" Michele said, "how about over here in the trees across the road?" "Ok", said Bo. As we were setting up the bull got closer and closer, then Bo looked up and there he was, a 6x6, 80 yards away. As I was listening and he came in closer, I thought he was going to run right over the top of us. It was eerie. We fumbled around trying to get me set up on him and he just stood there like, "ok are you going to shoot me or what?" I guess he finally got tired of waiting, so he trotted off. Michele spotted him behind some trees and Bo asked her if she could get a shot off through the trees. She said she would try. He walked off again. We were still fumbling to get ready. My hands were freezing, I could no longer feel my gun. Michele spotted him again in the trees further away. Bo bugled and he stopped, but all the vitals were behind the tree. He gave one more snort and then he was gone. Bo said that meant he wanted us to go to him, he wasn't gonna play anymore. So we packed up and headed back to camp for breakfast.
That evening we went out and saw and little spike out in the field all alone. No bulls to be seen. The next couple of mornings and evenings we saw very little. I believed the wind had them all messed up and the moon was full. We did see some antelope the morning of the 3rd.
It was a rather warm day October 3, 2009 on the Brazos River Ranch in New Mexico. Our guide, Bo, said we were going to go out to Mowhawk and set up at around 2:30 in the afternoon. My wife and I were fired up. We left camp and headed out around 3:00 or so. Once we arrived at Mohawk we got set up and the wait began.
Bo and my wife, Michele, scanned the terrain off and on for about 3 hours, the sun was hot and here came the wind. As the hours went by and the wind continued to blowand I became more frusterated saying to my wife, "I ain't ever going to get a shot." She replied, "Yes you will, be patient." So we sat. At around 6pm or there after Bo started to call em in. Far off in the distance, we spotted a couple cows. Michele and Bo watched intently as they moved around. And then Bo turned to Michele and said, "The bull is out" Michele shook her head "gotcha" They watched the bull for what seemed an eternity. Bo bugled a few times and the bull bugled back, but he wouldn't come to us. He stood there for a long time and then he disappeared into the timber. "Darn it!"
We waited patiently for the sun to set, in the meantime Bo called again and lo and behold the bull came back out. Bo had ranged the bull at 342 yards. He sat and thought for a minute and then turned to me and asked, "Do you want to take a shot?" I said, "Hell yah I wanna take a shot!!!" Bo said, "Let's do it!!" He and Michele got me set up on the target. The bull just stood there facing us head on not moving for 10 minutes. He wouldn't turn. Bo kept repeating, "C'mon turn, turn, c'mon!!!" Just then the bull turned. Bo told my wife to aim about a foot over his back and she said, "You do it, I don't know how to aim like that." Bo got me on and "GUN!" he said. I let one fly. We missed. It went way over him. The bull just stood there for a minute and started to walk off. Bo bugled and he stopped again. Bo got me back on target again, "G..." I squeezed off another round "THWAP" "I got him Bo, I got him, is he down?" I said. Bo and Chele were looking. Michele said he wabbled for a minute and then fell, but she couldn't see him behind the tree. I was ready to load another round I kept asking, "Is he down? Is he down?" Bo was looking and thought he was down, but wanted to make sure. I kept saying, "Let me shoot again. Is he down?" Bo said, "shut up Mike, I'm looking. Sorry Mike I didn't mean to say shut up". After a few minutes, Bo headed out to go check on the bull to make sure it was down.
Chele and I sat there for what seemed like forever and waited for the news. "Do you see Bo?" I said. "yes he is on his way down the mountain. He is really, really small", Chele said. The wait was agonizing. I kept asking Chele, "Where is Bo? Is he coming back yet?" Finally Chele said, "He is bending over to check the bull, I think you got him." "I KNOW I got him!!!!!", I said. Pretty soon as Bo is walking back towards us Michele caught him in the range finder and he saw her through his binoculars and raised his hands as if to say, "Victory is ours!!!" Chele turned to me and said, "You got him!!!" I erupted with joy and excitement. Bo said that the 2nd shot was a perfect shot right behind the shoulder center mass. I double lunged him.
Upon his return, Bo hollard at the top of his
lungs. "WOOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!!!!!" "What in the world did we just do????" "Absolutely AWESOME Mike!!!!!" "I can't believe it"
The rest of the guys showed up and off we went to get the bull. We had Austin, Art and Clay gathered up to field dress our monster and haul him off to camp. After all was said and done he turned out to be a 5x5 bull and I shot him at 355 yards.
Upon arrival at camp we were greeted by the rest of the hunters and congratulated with open arms. And the party was on.
My first hunt after going blind was an Antelope hunt on the Double H Ranch near Datil, New Mexico. I was sucessful and bagged one. I then went to McGaffey for a deer hunt and then to Tinnie, New Mexico for a Barbary sheep hunt. I was successful on both hunts.
I was injured in a fire and explosion on April 8, 2004. I have had 30 plus surgeries, lost the digits on my left hand (which I was dominant left handed) and lost my vision. After 16 months in the hospital I returned to what I love to do. HUNT!!!!!!!!!!!!"