Kansas hunter is proof that size does not matter


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Drizzt
October 11, 2005, 11:09 PM
Kansas hunter is proof that size does not matter
KAREN DUMS
The Park Falls Herald
Last Updated: Monday, October 10th, 2005 10:31:14 AM

PARK FALLS -- A 177-pound northern Wisconsin black bear may not be considered a trophy by some.

A 55-pound, 15-year-old girl may not be considered a hunter by some.
Some would be wrong.

Susan Clark of Belle Plaines, KS, is not unlike other teenage girls. She is a high school freshman who loves to shop.

She has also had cystic fibrosis since birth. Only two years ago, her chances for survival without a lung transplant were slim. Though her name was on a transplant list, her doctors felt she would not survive without an immediate transplant.

Two of her uncles, her father Bob’s brothers, were found to be matches; each donated a lobe. Susan had double lung transplant surgery, and these two years later is doing very well, breathing on her own and strong enough to make a trip from Belle Plaines to Park Falls to fulfill her “dreamwish;” a dreamwish to hunt, and hopefully bag, a northern Wisconsin black bear.

Enter United Special Sportsmen Alliance (USSA) board member John Mozingo. Mozingo, a Kansas resident, had learned of the Clark family through an article appearing in the March 2004 edition of Peterson’s Bowhunting Magazine concerning Susan’s mother, Tiffany Clark.

Tiffany had found her way into the Kansas record books by taking three whitetail deer in four days. One of those whitetails happened to be a 220-pound, nine-point buck which scored out at 164-5/8 and earned Tiffany the top spot for female archers in Kansas. The article mentioned Tiffany’s desire to take up hunting as a stress reliever and as a way to spend time with her husband, Bob. It went on to say that the Clark’s three children, twins Susan and Bob Jr., and their younger brother, Logan, had all been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at birth, requiring daily therapy and treatment.

Mozingo contacted Pittsville resident Brigid O’Donoghue, founder and president of USSA, to see if she could obtain a kill permit for young Susan. O’Donoghue found a donor in Mark VanDrell, who, without a blink, donated his kill permit, which had taken eight years to obtain.

Park Falls’ residents Bob and Donna Mader are no strangers to USSA hunters. They hosted two young men in the fall of 2004. Both were successful in bagging black bears. It came as no surprise when the Maders, their children and grandchildren opened their hearts and their doors to Susan and her dad when they arrived in Park Falls.

Due to their ailment, Susan and her brothers are undersized. Though small in stature, there is nothing small about Susan’s grit. Though uncomfortable hunting with dogs, she had no misgivings over settling into a stand with her dad on Jeff Mader’s property and waiting for a bruin to pass her way.

One did, and she calmly took it down with one shot from her .270 rifle. The Maders were called upon to help with the track. Susan had made a great hit; the bear traveled only 40 yards from the stand.

“She was real calm while she made the shot,” her dad said. “Afterward she got a little rattled.”

“It was kind of scary afterward,” Susan said. “The Maders said they had a ritual for first-time hunters. I thought they were going to make me eat the heart or something, but they only smeared a little bit of the bear’s blood on my cheek.”

The 177-pound black bear will become a full-body mount, which will join other mounts that occupy space in the Clark home. Since the entire family hunts avidly, it will no doubt be joined by others.

The Clarks had nothing but good to say about USSA, the hunt itself, their time spent in Park Falls and the unique hospitality displayed by the entire Mader family.

“I want it known,” Bob Clark said, “these are wonderful people.”

According to O’Donoghue, USSA had fulfilled 600 dreamwish hunts as of this writing. That number is expected to rise to 1,500 by year’s end.

Established in 2003, and headquartered in Pittsville, WI, USSA is a nationwide, non-profit Christian organization that coordinates with other organizations worldwide in fulfilling a “dreamwish.” It’s goal is to grant terminally ill and disabled sportsmen and women an outdoors adventure of their dreams. Susan’s dreamwish took four years to come true.

For more information on USSA, visit www.deerfood.com, e-mail biotec@tds.net or contact O’Donoghue at 1-800-518-8019

http://www.parkfallswi.com/placed/index.php?sect_rank=2&story_id=209514

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Standing Wolf
October 11, 2005, 11:52 PM
“I want it known,” Bob Clark said, “these are wonderful people.”

Sounds like it to me!

MachIVshooter
October 11, 2005, 11:57 PM
Very cool :)

Double Naught Spy
October 12, 2005, 10:33 AM
Nice story, but I don't recall it ever being an issue that a person's size had anything to do with their use of technology to kill game.

middy
October 12, 2005, 10:37 AM
“The Maders said they had a ritual for first-time hunters. I thought they were going to make me eat the heart or something, but they only smeared a little bit of the bear’s blood on my cheek.”
Someone's been watching Red Dawn... :D

Buck Snort
October 12, 2005, 04:50 PM
Its not surprising that she loves to SHOP, she is, after all, a female!! I guess you meant she loves to SHOOT, and that's a good thing.

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