Wheelin’ Sportsmen Take Home More than Turkey from NWTF Hunt


At the 11th running of the NWTF Wheelin’ Sportsmen Ultimate Turkey Hunt at the Savannah River Site (SRS) in Aiken, South Carolina, hunters took home 22 turkeys and a lifetime of memories. The annual event is made possible through a partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Department of Energy.

The 29 hunt winners, who came from Pennsylvania to Florida, along with their guest and volunteer guides, are the only visitors allowed to hunt for turkeys at the SRS each year.

Dallas Ybarra, 21, a North Carolina native and student at University of South Carolina, took his first ever turkey on the opening morning of the hunt.

“I had my head down and when I looked up he was there. It gave me a sense of wonderment,” said Ybarra. “I thought [after filling the tag] did I really just do that? It is nice that the NWTF and volunteers are willing to go out of their way to help me get hunting experiences.”

Ybarra followed up his successful morning hunt by harvesting a second bird the next morning.

Robert and Dennis Honicutt, twin brothers from South Carolina, were also drawn as hunt winners this year. Robert, a first-time hunt winner, took two mature gobblers the first morning, the first turkeys he had ever taken. Dennis, a second time attendee, was not successful this year though he had taken birds the last time he attended the hunt. The best part was that father, Preston, got to enjoy this experience with both of his sons.

“The NWTF Wheelin’ Sportsmen program is designed to engage or reengage individuals who may not otherwise be able to get outside and pursue hunting adventures due to a disability of some kind,” said Mandy Harling, NWTF Hunting Heritage Program manager. “It is only with the incredible support from our volunteers, partnering organizations and sponsors that we are able to offer these individuals such a unique and exciting opportunity.”

Other sponsoring organizations included The University of Georgia Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Cabela’s, Aiken Sertoma Club, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, Wackenhut Services Inc. – SRS Team and Savannah River Remediation.

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