Jefferson Award Winner: Ron Bantz - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Jefferson Award Winner: Ron Bantz


Deer hunting is popular in the state of Wisconsin but for people with disabilities, there are often many challenges when it comes to that hunt.

We honor a man who volunteers his time to change that; Ron Bantz is February's Jefferson Award winner.

As the leaves drop from the trees and snows begin to fall, thousands of hunters head to the Wisconsin woods for the annual deer hunt. Ron Bantz is one of those avid sportsmen.  He looks forward to hunting with his buddy Doug. "I look forward to it, we both have a good time it's something I've learned to love."

During the 2008 hunt, Doug bagged a doe, then moments later a 5-point buck. That might not seem out of the ordinary.  But what makes it extraordinary is Doug is blind. "Doug loads the gun.  I don't touch it," said Ron.

Ron and Doug have hunted together for 9 years. They have a system down for when Ron becomes Doug's eyes. "When it comes time to shoot, I tell him where to aim and when it's safe to shoot."

Over the years Ron and Doug have recorded many successful hunts. "Over the years we have got 8 deer and that its very good," Ron recalled.

For his volunteer efforts, Ron received a Jefferson award.  He says the recognition is humbling and he encourages others to get in the hunt for ways they can volunteer and help others. "It's a neat thing."

A number of organizations set up hunts for the disabled, including the Lions. The department of natural resources overseas hunt season.

The Jefferson Award is an honor set up in 1972 by former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to honor volunteers.

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