PRESCOTT (AGFC) – Tom Trotter traveled a thousand miles to take his first deer with a muzzle-loading rifle. His success was helped along by the Arkansas Wildlife Officers Association, a hunting club and an anonymous gift.
Trotter lives in Cocoa, Fla. and came to Arkansas through the Wounded Warrior Project, a project to aid veterans injured in combat. Trotter served two tours with the U.S. Marines then one in Afghanistan, where he was wounded.
He is 28 and a staff sergeant in the Marines. He's a deer hunter in Florida, and he did not hesitate when the opportunity was handed him for a hunt in Nevada County in southwest Arkansas.
Some phone calls and e-mails were made. Several wildlife officers with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission pitched in with the attitude of "we need to help this fellow." After contacting the Wounded Warrior Project, the Oliver Deer Club contacted the AGFC for their help. AGFC wildlife officers got involved by lining up a hunting license.
Floridian Trotter had to have an out-of-state license for the Arkansas hunt, and someone who asked to remain anonymous came forth with the needed $100 for the license.
On the hunt, the last weekend of the October muzzleloader season, Trotter was handed a black powder rifle by club members, and he quickly checked its operation. Then he went to a designated box stand, a low level facility, and waited.
A deer appeared about 75 yards away, Trotter aimed, fired, and the deer dropped.
Smiles came forth all around. Shane Oliver was happy. So were wildlife officers Joe Williams, Jim Pennington and Lindell Sorrells, the ones most closely involved in the project.
Tom Trotter said he will be back.
Oliver said to the officers, "Tell the donor (of the license) that Mr. Trotter had a great time and is looking into joining our camp next year. He will drive from Florida to hunt in Arkansas."