For the 43rd consecutive year, upper-extremity amputees from around the country – and perhaps around the world – will be converging on Olney Friday and Saturday, Sept. 5-6, for the annual One Arm Dove Hunt. Jack Northrup, who co-founded the event with the late Jack Bishop, said this event promises to be a great time for all who will be visiting.
“This ‘Olney story’ shines as an example of what a hometown community can do for the disabled,” Norhtrup says on the OADH website. “Every person with the loss of use of an arm or hand, or an arm or hand amputee, across the nation is invited to Olney, Texas, the first weekend after Labor Day. “
“It’s a place they can gather,” Northrup said on Tuesday. “A lot of them don’t have amputees in their communities – especially the small communities. Here there are many. They enjoy it. They exchange thoughts and ideas.”
Over the years the OADH has drawn amputees from all around the United States, and even some attendees from other countries. The event has been featured in major publications, including “The Wall Street Journal.” It has been covered by numerous newspapers and magazines, radio shows and even on ESPN2. The most recent magazine to show interest is “In Motion,” which publishes in the northern states and will come out after the hunt.
Events kick off at 8 a.m. Friday with the golf tournament at the Olney Country Club. Afterward, amputees and their families are invited to a lunch at the Olney Civic Center. The trap shoot, which will include above-the-shoulder, below-the-shoulder and double-amputee divisions, will start at 2 p.m. at the old rodeo grounds east of Olney on Hwy. 114.
The public is invited to the annual hamburger supper at the Civic Center at 6 p.m. Friday. Northrup said the cost of admission is any donation. Silent auction items will be on display and a live auction will also be held.
The annual “10 cents a finger” breakfast, which is also open to the public, begins at 6:30 a.m. Saturday at the Civic Center. The horseshoe tournament starts at 8 a.m., and washer pitching will also be available. A lunch is planned for noon Saturday, at which time the drawing for an O Henry Golden Boy .22 lever-action long rifle will be held. Tickets, which are available at the event, are $1 each. They may also be purchased in advance by contacting Northrup at (940) 564-6600. Cost of the Saturday lunch is also a donation.
Amputees will take off on the live dove hunt Friday afternoon, and winners in above- and below-the-elbow categories will be determined upon their return to the Civic Center that evening.
“The hunt is secondary,” Northrup said. “It always has been. It’s about people getting together, sharing thoughts and ideas and helping each other toward a better way of life.”