Blackduck man, Outdoor Adventure Foundation join forces to give Paul Lundberg his first buck adventure
Ten-year-old Paul Lundberg of Solway shot his first deer as part of a dream hunt with the Outdoor Adventure Foundation with the help of hunt host Rick Reinarz, owner of the Whiskey Shack and the Sugar Shack at Hayley's RV Park, near Blackduck, but he didn’t get just any deer — it was an eight-point buck.
BLACKDUCK — Ten-year-old Paul Lundberg of Solway shot his first deer as part of a dream hunt with the Outdoor Adventure Foundation with the help of hunt host Rick Reinarz, owner of the Whiskey Shack and the Sugar Shack at Hayley's RV Park, near Blackduck, but he didn’t get just any deer — it was an eight-point buck.
Paul was given the trip by the OAF because of his battle with childhood Medulloblastoma, a form of brain cancer. He was diagnosed with the illness on Oct. 17, 2019, and he and his family have been dealing with the physical, emotional and financial issues that come with cancer treatment ever since.
The OAF is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that takes sick people 25 and younger, as well as injured combat veterans, hunting and fishing.
“At the Outdoor Adventure Foundation, we consider it an essential part of life to have something to look forward to and to give these kids and veterans hope for the future and something to take their minds off of their treatments and struggles that come along with a major illness, disability or injury,” said Brian Solum, OAF president.
His father, Matt Lundberg, accompanied Paul on the special deer hunt that was intended for the opening weekend Nov. 5-6 but carried over into the following weekend, largely because of the weather.
While Paul has an outgoing personality and has the appearance of a healthy young boy, cancer has slowed his physical growth and affected his ability to keep up with his classmates in school. The brain cancer makes it harder for Paul to learn at the same rate as his peers and the time he has missed due to his treatments makes it even harder for him to keep up with his classroom material.
His parents, Matt and Anne, must make sure he gets plenty of rest and they closely monitor his medications, nutrition and activities to make it possible for him to attend school because the illness causes him to tire quickly. He just can’t do a lot of the physical things his peers do — but he is a bright young boy and a budding mechanic in his own right.
It has been hard for Paul to maintain his friendships due to his illness, treatment and his physical limitations, so a special deer hunting trip really means a lot to Paul and his family.
“We had to wait until the night before the hunt to tell him because we know how excited he gets for a hunting or fishing trip,” said Matt.
There was plenty of deer in the area, but they just weren’t coming near Paul’s blind on the Reinarz property, until the last 15 minutes of the last night of the hunt, Sunday, Nov. 13.
The buck materialized in front of Paul’s blind at about 100 yards, as the light began to fade, and it began to disappear into a stand of pine trees just as quickly as it appeared. It looked like he might have missed his opportunity when he took his shot through an opening between the trees. The buck dropped and stayed down. It was a shot that many experienced hunters would miss.
“I got a buck!” he shouted, repeatedly.
“The little guy worked hard for his buck, and he had to have a lot of patience. I did everything I could to help him,” said Rick. “I just couldn’t be happier for him!”
The Outdoor Adventure Foundation will present a shoulder mount of the buck to Paul at their annual fundraising banquet in March, with the taxidermy being donated by Aaron Reiling, owner of Wildfur Taxidermy in Barnesville, as a remembrance of the hunt.
Denny’s Deer Processing, in Squaw Lake, capped the buck and processed the meat free of charge.
“I just can’t thank the Outdoor Adventure Foundation and Rick (Reinarz) enough for providing this opportunity for Paul. He can’t play sports like some of the other kids and this buck will really give him a sense of accomplishing something,” said Matt.
Paul’s hunt will be shown on an episode of the Outdoor Adventure Foundation television show called “Dream Makers,” which can be seen on the Midco Sports Network and the Pursuit Channel.
Donors, sponsors and potential recipients can find out more about making big outdoor dreams come true on the Outdoor Adventure Foundation website at www.ndoaf.org.