Elk NetworkA Sight To Behold

Volunteer News | August 13, 2012

A Sight To Beholdby

Mike Post, San Fernando Valley Chapter Chair

The weather was cold in the high country of northwest Colorado. Nothing like a good snow day to get the elk moving and November 5, 2010, was no exception. A large stand of aspen off a high mountain meadow had an ideal fenceline cut along a well used migration trail. After a long day’s wait the opportunity for this father and son team arrived. With a careful and coordinated aim came one shot—and one kill—from a legally blind hunter.

Joe Rivetti and his son Paul, both RMEF members, attended the San Fernando Valley Chapter big game banquet in Los Angeles, California, on April 3, 2010. At the banquet a guided bull elk rifle hunt for two on a lease in northwest Colorado came up for auction. Joe asked me if the outfitter, Jack Timmer of Craig, Colorado, could accommodate impaired hunters. I advised him that Jack had once successfully guided a wheelchair bound elk hunter and seemed amenable to giving anything a try. With that assurance the Rivettis bid on the elk hunt—and won. 

The next day I called Jack to fill him in. I explained that the hunt would be a bit different as one of the hunters was legally blind and had never killed an elk before. Jack, a long time RMEF donor and friend of mine for many years, took it all in stride and just said he would give them a call and set it up.

Summer passed and hunting season arrived. Joe and Paul made the long trek to Colorado in the midst of early snowstorms. But a lot of preparation had already gone into the trip before they drove a single mile. Paul has an S&W i-bolt .270 rifle equipped with a Leupold 3×9 scope. The scope is mounted in a special custom “Sight Impaired Scope Mount” designed by Joe for his son and manufactured by Be Adaptive Equipment of Columbus City, Indiana. The scope mount helps the shooter bring the rifle on target with the iron sights, but then allows an assistant to view the target through the scope and tell the shooter how to adjust his aim to bring the rifle dead on. The Rivettis put in a lot of time practicing at Wes Thompson’s Piru Rifle Range operated by another long-time RMEF supporter and donor, Mike Thompson.

The effort Joe made to assure that Paul can enjoy the outdoors with his father and experience the thrill of the hunt is a great testimonial to family values and a father’s love. The San Fernando Valley Chapter is proud to have played our small part in this family’s hunt.

There are times when being a volunteer seems tedious and with little reward, and then there are times like this when you remember what it’s all about. Your only regret is that you didn't get to be there!