Ninth annual Buckmasters banquet slated for May 16

Kevin Holamon Special to the Bulletin news@brownwoodbulletin.com
Leann Simmons, left, is pictured with the founder of Buckmasters, Jackie Bushman, following her successful harvest during the 2013 Buckmasters Classic at the Sedgefield Plantation, 40 miles from Selma, Alabama.

Members of the Heart of Texas Chapter of the Buckmasters American Deer Foundation are excited about the 2015 banquet, to be held May 16 at the Brownwood Coliseum.

Each year, since the founding of the local chapter, the banquet allows area sportsmen and women, supporters, and sponsors to gather for an evening of good food, fellowship, and entertainment, as well as participate in raising funds for the many activities the chapter supports throughout the year.

In addition to the BADF Life Hunts and Taking Heroes Hunting adventures, organized by the Heart of Texas Chapter, funds raised at the banquet support a number of local organizations.

“This year we were able to give $2,500 to 4H Shooting Sports,” said Hart, “We also donated $2,000 to the Good Samaritan Deer Project and Food for the Hungry, $3,000 to the Salvation Army Loaves and Fishes, $500 to the American Cancer Society, and $500 each to the seven area Youth Fair Community Funds.”

The local chapter also supports Save-a-Fawn, a local rescue for orphaned whitetail fawns, and conducted two youth hunter education courses attended by 45 youth.

“We offer the course to area kids at no cost to them,” Hart said.

Of course, the cornerstone of the BADF is the Life Hunt and Taking Heroes Hunting. Over the past year, the local chapter organized five of the former, for seriously ill and disabled children, and four of the latter, for wounded veterans.

“This year we added hunts for Gold Star Kids,” Hart said, adding that they have conducted such hunts. “It’s a real special program and we’re going to be doing more of them.”

The Gold Star Kids program is for the children of fallen soldiers.

The 2014 event brought a record-breaking attendance of 537 and chapter officers Larry Hart and Tim Schoen expect to exceed that this year. Hart said in its seventh year (2013) the Heart of Texas Chapter broke the record for BADF Chapter fundraisers. Last year, they “shattered” their own record. At this banquet, the chapter will receive its second Top Gun Award from the BADF.

Among the special guests, including all of this year’s hunters, will be previous Life Hunter Christian Faith Snodgrass, who will once again perform the National Anthem.

Sure to be a treat for attendees is the highly anticipated appearance by renowned outdoors sportsman Jackie Bushman. Hunters will know Bushman as a pioneer in the outdoors and hunting television industry, as well as the founder of Buckmasters TV, Buckmasters Magazine, and the Buckmasters American Deer Foundation. Bushman will present the chapter’s Top Gun Award, the trophy mounts to the hunters, and honor, in his special way, all of the veterans and active duty service members in attendance.

The banquet will kickoff with a rib eye steak dinner, prepared onsite by the Heart of Texas Cooking Team. As the evening progresses, attendees will have the opportunity to win door prizes and raffle items, as well as participate in numerous fun games, with prizes. The silent and live auctions will, again, include lots of great items such as collectible prints and firearms. The raffles and auctions will include items of interest to hunters and non-hunters, men and women.

“We’ll have a huge table of raffle items from Academy Sports and Outdoors,” said Hart, “which is a BADF national sponsor.”

Many local businesses and individual supporters generously donate other raffle and auction items.

“We couldn’t do this without the support of the many local businesses, sportsmen, and especially the ranches which sponsor the hunts,” Hart said.

Tickets for the banquet are available now; $40 for individuals or $60 for couples. Sponsor tables are available for $400, which includes seating for eight, a private waitress to serve the meal and drinks, recognition as a sponsor, and a chance to win a firearm.

Bronze, Silver, and Gold Sponsorships are also available, which entitles the sponsor to special advertising packages, recognition by the emcee, Wesley Fletcher, and sponsorship of bonus gun raffles and/or silent and live auction items.

For more information or to purchase tickets and sponsorships, visit the chapter’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BADFHOTC or call Larry Hart at (325) 642-4307 or Tim Schoen at (512) 573-0005.