Beaver Creek Rendezvous Hosts Disabled Hunters
The Fallon County Times - December 17, 2004
Leonard Livingston, an avid outdoorsman, was confined to a wheelchair 18 years ago with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). He thought he'd never be able to hunt again and was devastated.
However, that didn't prove to be true. He had the opportunity to go hunting several times at a Wyoming camp, "Helluva Hunt", which hosted disabled hunters and their hunting companions. This camp was the first of its kind in the United States but more such camps are now being started in various parts of the country.
Since that first disabled hunt of Livingston's, his disease went into remission and he bought his grandfather's farm/ranch just north of Ekalaka. Four years ago he started a disabled hunter's camp, The Beaver Creek Rendezvous, on his own operation and on land of some of his neighbors providing hunters access to nearly 100,000 acres. The access is reserved for the handicapped hunters and companions the first three days of hunting season. The first year, Livingston hosted hunters and their companions in his own house, but decided to build a bunkhouse for the following season.
With the help of his buddies, Sam Denney of Ekalaka and Kent Ehret of Baker, Livingston constructed a 40x28' building which sleeps at least 12 and has handicapped accessible bathrooms and a kithcen and everything hunters need.
Livingston credits his friends and volunteers for making the Beaver Creek Rendezvous a success for the past four years. To help cover costs of the hunt, Livingston hosts a yearly raffle with prizes donated from area businesses. Many other area businesses donate various items to help make the hunting camp a successful endeavor. All hunters are responsible for their own licenses and transportation getting to the camp.
Disabled hunters from all over the Unites States, as far away as New York and Washington, have come to the Beaver Creek Rendezvous. All six of the hunters who participated in the 2004 camp filled their tags and that's all the thanks Livingston needs.
"It's like a dream come true," he said, "to be able to do something for someone that someone else has done for you."
November 4, the Independent Record of Helena published a feature story in its Outdoors section about one of the disabled hunters who attended the Beaver Creek Rendezvous this year. Dan Koehl, who had not been able to hunt for over 30 years because of a severe injury sustained in the Vietnam War, bagged a two-point mulie.
The raffle for this year's Rendezvous is a rifle and a scope donated by Sam Denney of Ekalaka and a cross-stitched, hand quilted quilt, "North Woods", donated by Jane Logan of Sew Knotty in Ekalaka. The drawing for these items will be conducted Dec. 20. Other individuals and businesses who have donated items to help make a successful hunting camp include: LA Ranch - two coats and two prints; Red Rock Sporting Goods of Miles City - binoculars; Nick and Less Dorris of Seattle, WA - gun cases; Jason Nygren of Seattle - knife; Wright Const. of Ekalaka construction work on bunkhouse; Hardware Hank of Baker - a Leatherman; J&M Lumber of Baker - materials for bunkhouse; NAPA, Baker - hats; Fruit Repair, Ekalaka - hats; Main St. Market, Ekalaka - pop; Reynols, Baker - chips and fruit; Baker Furniture - big framed print; Roundup Building Center, Belle Fourche, SD - knife; Empire Building Materials, Bozeman - doors; Pack Tech, Bozeman - food and plaques; K&P Construction, Baker - concrete knife; Dennis Dodd - help with bunkhouse building; A&A Steig Wholesale - gloves and hats; Judd and Patty Holstead - hats; Jon Travers, New York - walk in cooler; and Wayne Walker - gun locks.
For more information on volunteering or participating in the Beaver Creek Rendezvous, contact Livingston at 406-775-6276 or write to him at: P.O. Box 494, Ekalaka MT 59324.