Montanans receive 'Big Hearts' outfitted elk hunts

The focus was on family for three recipients of free outfitted elk hunts who each got bulls and made some great memories this fall.

Master Sgt. Jesse Edinger of Helena, Nate Jensen of Westby and Sgt. Patrick Wickens, originally from Denton, each received special elk hunts with their families through Big Hearts Under the Big Sky, the charitable arm of the Montana Outfitters and Guides Association. The program offers free outfitted hunts through a nomination process to members of the military, people with medical challenges and their families.

The Edinger and Jensen families were outfitted by Rod Arnaud with the Montana Hunting Company on the West Creek Ranch in Paradise Valley. The Wickens family was outfitted by Chris Faber with the Montana Outfitting Company on the Big Spring Ranch near Lewistown.

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Edinger joined the military out of high school and pointed to his family’s service history with a grandfather that served in World War II and Korea. It was a chance to serve his country and see the world, and after his active duty he enlisted with the National Guard. There, he has been heavily involved with military funeral honors.

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