Bio: Orlowski, James - Elk Hunt for Heroes (Oct 2009)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Orlowski, Jensen, Fish

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 11/11/2009

News: Orlowski Participates in Hunt for Heroes (Bull Elk – 2009)

Orlowski Participates in Hunt for Heroes

Submitted by Richard Jensen, Neillsville.

James Orlowski of Greenfield, a soldier who received extensive injuries in Iraq, received the chance of a lifetime, Saturday, Oct. 31, when he hunted a bull elk.

Hunts for Heroes partners with deer and elk farmers across the country to offer service men and women the chance to get back into the woods and go hunting again.

Orlowski received extensive back and leg injuries preventing him from ever hunting for an elk out west. Rick Jensen, owner of R Jensen Elk Ranch in Neillsville donated a 6 x 7 bull elk for Orlowski. When Orlowski was contacted to see if he would like to take part in this program, Orlowski said the hunt would make a lifelong dream come true.

When Orlowski was in Iraq, he made himself a promise to go elk hunting when he returned home. However, a bomb hit Orlowski’s unit; he was injured. Orlowski thought his dream would never come true because he received such extreme injuries.

The help from Hunts for Heroes and farmers like Jensen give a small gift back to the young men and women who are protecting freedom every day.

Many service men and women make the ultimate sacrifice by giving their lives. Others return home with extensive injuries preventing them from doing things they love.

Orlowski was able to do something he thought he would never be able to do – hunt a bull elk. Saturday morning came; Orlowski, his girlfriend, Rick Jensen and Bill went into the woods before sunrise. They sat on the wood line overlooking a meadow. After the sun came up, they made a couple bugle calls. The bull didn’t answer, so we decided to move to a different meadow and find the bull elk.

While walking through the woods, the hunters spotted the bull on a ridge in a stand of hardwoods. Orlowski began to sneak through the hard woods trying not to spook the bull. He got into position to take the shot. It was over quickly, but that’s when everyone got to see how much this meant to Orlowski.

James Orlowski (l) and Rick Jensen pose with the bull elk Orlowski shot Oct. 31 as part of the Hunts for Heroes program. Contributed photo

When Orlowski reached the bull elk and the reality of it set in, his face said it all. Orlowski had a smile on his face that didn’t stop. At that moment, he may have forgot he was injured in Iraq. Orlowski wanted to jump in and help get the bull out of the woods. Orlowski’s doctor said he is not supposed to lift anything heavy because of his back injuries. The hunters got the bull elk out of the woods and capped it out. Jensen took the animal to Crescent Meats in Cadott to be processed. Crescent Meats donated the processing for Orlowski. The cap and antlers were taken to Jay Fish of Fish and Wildlife Taxidermy in Edgar. Jay Fish will mount the bull elk for free for Orlowski.

James and his girlfriend were taken to the Highground Sunday. The Highground moved Orlowski, who had lost a friend and fellow unit member in Iraq. Before Orlowski left to go home, he said he will never forget what everyone did for him.



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