Hunting With a Hero

Travis and Daddy are boar hunting in the woods of Alabama, when Daddy recalls  stories of wounded veterans who wish they could hunt – but whose disabilities keep them from getting outdoors. Back at the garage, the guys decide to create an all-terrain hunting vehicle for a disabled veteran. Knowing that the veteran will probably be in a wheelchair, they’re going to have to create a beefed-up wheelchair device that can go anywhere. It will have to be controlled from a single panel that can be worked one-handed. And since it’s a hunting vehicle, it will have to be silent, which will require electric motors. While the boys begin designing the device, Daddy contacts Hope For the Warriors – a nonprofit that helps veterans wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. Daddy puts in a call to Philip LaBonte, an Army veteran who lost both legs and an eye in Iraq. He was an avid hunter and outdoorsman before his disabilities.  Daddy promises him that he’s gonna try to help him get back in to the woods.

Pete and Michael are sent to find electric motors, but they come back with a golf cart. Despite everyone’s skepticism, Travis thinks the golf cart might be a good base for the vehicle – if they can beef it up. They replace the tires with off-road versions, and they begin to build an electric ramp for Phil’s wheelchair to drive into the vehicle. Finally, they design an elevator that will raise a platform – so the cart literally becomes a mobile hunting platform. Everything seems to be going well… until they get a visit from the local Game Warden.

The Game Warden has gotten word that an illegal hunting machine is being created, so he and his men have come to check it out.  Though it’s not strictly illegal, the Game Warden is concerned… but once he hears about Philip, he changes his attitude. The Game Warden is a vet himself, and his son is serving in Afghanistan. The Hunting Vehicle can proceed with the Warden’s blessing.

The guys work late into the night, then at dawn load up the device and drive off to the hunting grounds. As they are putting the last minute touches on the vehicle, Philip LaBonte arrives with Lt Sean Clifford from the 101st Airborne and Hope for the Warriors. Philip rolls his wheelchair on to the electric ramp, and raises himself into position. The Rednecks give him a brief tutorial on the controls… then Philip La Bonte drives forward on his camo-covered mobile hunting vehicle.

Daddy has noticed tracks of giant feral hogs in the area, so the Rednecks head one way into the woods to drive a hog toward Philip. Meanwhile, Philip drives himself to a good spot, then raises his elevator platform to a good height for a hunting blind. Within a few minutes, he hears the crash of a razorback boar rushing through the woods. The boar bursts from a clearing as Philip raises his rifle. With two shots, Philip brings down his boar. And it is trophy-size.

Philip drives his vehicle to the boar where the guys met him, then they show off the final feature – a “boar-scoop” that picks up the hog like a forklift. Philip is excited to be back in the woods, hunting trophy hogs.  He drives back to the trucks in his vehicle, as the Rednecks walk alongside, celebrating a successful hunt for a wounded warrior.

Tune into Rocket City Rednecks: Hunting With a Hero Thursday at 9P et/pt

Comments

  1. JIM SMITH
    portland , michigan
    December 27, 2012, 10:28 pm

    THUMBS UP , BROUGHT TEARS TO MY EYES. LET ME TELL YOU A LITTLE BIT ABOUT MYSELF.I WORK AT A COMPANY THAT MAKES SEATS FOR G.M. HERE IN LANSING MICH. I AM THE CHAIR-PERSON OF OUR VETERANS COMMITTEE.NOTHING WAS IN OUR PLANT TO EVEN LET PEOPLE KNOW WE HAVE VETS IN OUR PLANT , SO , I TOOK IT UPON MYSELF TO GET IT DONE,LONG STORY SHORT , I WISH I COULD MEET THE YOUNG MAN IN THIS EPISODE.MY HEART GOES OUT TO OUR MILITARY MEN AND WOMAN ,SO WHEN THIS STORY AIRED , WOW ! YOU GUYS GOT TEARS IN MY EYES ON THAT ONE. I WISH I COULD TAKE HIM AND OTHERS HUNTING LIKE YOU DID. ANY WAY’S , IF YOU CAN , COULD I POSSIBLY MEET HIM I ALSO LIVE IN MICH. AND WOULD LOVE TO DO THIS.IF NOT , COULD I GET AN E-MAIL SO I CAN TALK TO HIM THAT WAY?THIS WOULD REALLY MAKE MY DAY TO MEET HIM,WELL , ENOUGH SAID , ANY THING YOU COULD DO I WOULD REALLY LIKE IT , THANK YOU SIRS , JIM SMITH U.A.W. LOCAL 724 LANSING MICHIGAN , CHAIR , VETERANS COMMITTEE,RECREATION COMMITTEE , SARGENT AT ARMS ,EDUCATION COMMITTEE.

  2. Brian Miller
    Erie PA
    December 28, 2012, 12:31 am

    I was Iraq at the same time as Phil. Kind of got to me when I heard his story. I was fortunate to return in one peice. I Loved what you did for this wounded warrior. Thank you for the support.

  3. David Mentzer
    Kapaa, HI
    December 28, 2012, 3:56 am

    I watch this show all the time; it’s my favorite! Maybe because I’m half redneck (the Tennessee half), maybe because it makes me laugh all the time and maybe because the guys are so patriotic. But this episode of building a boar buggy (love these hillbilly names!) for disabled veteran Philip La Bonte brought me to tears. Even several hours later during a re-broadcast. Even now. Thank you, guys, for doing something wonderful for America’s finest. I think Daddy’s idea of making this a product line for wounded vets is a great one!! I’m a vet myself (Viet Nam) so I double appreciate what you’re doing. I wish you luck and succes with it! And I wish you guys all the best in the world.