FREWSBURG, NY (WNY News Now) – A disabled Jamestown veteran, who currently plays for the Buffalo Bills wheelchair football league, has won a local hunting trip.
Tony Neubauer is the first recipient of ‘The Heroes Hunt’, presented by Primitive Patriot Outdoors in Frewsburg, NY. This fall, he will set out on a customized white tail deer hunt.
“It’s a great opportunity that he’s giving me, to get out and hunt again. It’s been three years since I’ve hunted, actually up until the day that I got shot I was hunting, that day I did. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to take care of the deer I had shot that day. Getting back out into the wilderness and adventuring and hunting again and fishing, it’s something that I’ve longed for so this opportunity is great,” says Neubauer.
Neubauer served with the Marine Corps from 2004 to 2009, then with the Army until 2014.
Following a 2019 shooting at the Bullfrog Hotel in Jamestown that left Neubauer in a wheelchair, he now plays for the Buffalo Bills wheelchair team.
“So it’s a new thing, I reached out to the coach earlier in the season and he asked me to come out for training camp and I killed it,” says Neubauer. “I got a starting position as a tight end right now and I play middle linebacker as well. We go full-force, go Bills!”
There are currently 20 players on the team, who compete against twelve NFL sanctioned teams around the country.
“A lot of people just think that I’m supposed to sit here and be disabled and not out there doing the things that everybody else does and that’s not the case for me,” explains Neubauer. “I wanna go skydiving, I wanna bungee jump, all this from a wheelchair. The more that I can do and the more I can show people that just because you go through something difficult, it doesn’t mean your life’s over.”
The sponsor of the event, Joshua Larsen, created Primitive Patriot Outdoors in October 2020. After serving eight years in the Marine Corps, Larsen decided to fall back on something his father taught him to love: the outdoors.
“So 2020 hit and the COVID pandemic was pretty hard. I got laid off, I was laid off about five months, and during that time I decided to turn my hobby into a business. So I first started on Facebook, just sharing posts and sharing knowledge of my experiences. And then we ran our first big buck contest in 2020. We had 69 members and then we launched the Western New York Walleye Classic, which is growing into one of Western New York’s largest Walleye tournaments,” says Larsen.
Larson teaches ethical hunting practices, and promotes conservation through the preservation of public lands.
He hopes that one day he will be able to take these heroes on their dream hunts. Volunteers and land, or charter, donations would help make this possible.