A Case of Mistaken Identity Earns One Boy a Free Hunting Trip
OutdoorHub Reporters 01.20.15
Sometimes even mistakes can lead to good things. Two sheriffs in Pennsylvania and South Carolina have teamed up to send one 9-year-old boy on his first hunting trip, and it all began as a misunderstanding. According to the Charlotte Observer, the story began with Sheriff Alex Underwood of Chester County, South Carolina. Underwood periodically plans hunting and fishing trips for children in need, or those who do not have someone to introduce them to the great outdoors.
“When I was a kid, my dad started me hunting and fishing,” Underwood said while taking his latest group of young hunters out on their first expedition.
The sheriff added that he was grateful he was exposed to it at an early age, and that not all kids have the same opportunity he did. That included Alex Collins, a 9-year-old from Pennsylvania. The son of a single mother, Alex sent in handwritten letters to the sheriff’s office in the hopes of nabbing a spot on the hunting trip.
““I wrote in there [because] I didn’t have anybody to teach me, or take me,” Alex told the Rock Hill Herald.
Yet Alex had actually written into the wrong sheriff’s office. He and his mom had been sending letters to the Chester County Sheriff’s Office in Pennsylvanina, not South Carolina. His mother, Leslie Collins, says he was heartbroken when he found out. Alex’s story does not stop here however, thanks to kindness of a few deputies and Sheriff Carolyn Welsh, who actually received the letters. Welsh had met Underwood at a law enforcement conference last year and decided to reach out to him on behalf of Alex and his mother. In the end, Welsh and her deputies decided to fund the 9-year-old’s trip to South Carolina out of their own pockets along with donations from the community.
“Alex was so excited he could hardly stand it,” Welsh told the Observer. “We are just as thrilled to be able to do this. Alex is an adorable child. This is a trip of a young lifetime.”
Underwood was as equally excited to have Alex on the hunting trip, and began referring to the young sportsmen as “Little A” after their similar names.
“People read the story and it just took off,” Underwood told the Herald. “Everybody wanted to make sure Little A was taken care of, and I want the whole country to know that we are going to show Little A the best hunting and fishing trip anybody ever had.”
Underwood has not reported if they managed to bag anything during the hunt, but either way, it will be one that Alex will remember for a very long time.
You can listen to an interview with Sheriff Underwood as he gets his troop of hunters equipped below: