Saturday, December 26, 2009

Squirrel Hunt at Bang's Paradise

Disabled hunter Andy Hahn traveled to Bang's Paradise Valley from Rio, Brazil in order to hunt some squirrels with owner Bang Collins. Hahn has been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease and is an avid hunter and angler. Hahn was joined in a pop-up tent blind overlooking a run of swamp near Broxton Bridge with childhood friend Ron Wagner and new friend - 10-year old Klay Elixson. His Marlin .17-caliber rifle was outfitted with an Alpen scope and a prism video screen. Wagner would aim the gun and when Hahn agreed with the placement of the crosshairs he would 'pull' the trigger. The 42-degree temperature made Hahn's muscles 'lock-up'  because ALS effects muscle function but he said, "I love the cold because it means its hunting season, but I'm much more comfortable in a warm climate." Hahn continued, "Every time a squirrel came out I was thinking Ron better hold the gun steady because my heart was beating with excitement." Hahn and wife Ligia travel to Bang's Paradise Valley in Ehrhardt, S.C. twice a year because they like the fact that Collins does not afford them any special treatment more than any other customer. The one exception may have been when Collins came up to Hahn, paused and said, "Has anyone told you they love you today? ... well I love you man."

PhotosByJeffDennis: Hahn and Elixson used these squirrel masks to achieve 100% camo when hunting bushytails; Ron Wagner, Klay Elixson (with squirrels) and Andy Hahn after a successful hunt; hunter's stool with bipod and Hornady Magnum Rimfire rifle


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