Farmington Hills Police Officer Jennifer Sauer recently expanded the meaning of her decision to “serve.” Officer Sauer, an Air Force veteran, volunteered her time to help disabled veterans experience the challenge and enjoyment of pheasant hunting. She lifted up her fellow veterans, both physically and mentally, so they could enjoy an experience they might have been denied due to their disabilities.
Sauer participated in the 12th Annual Disabled Veterans and Law Enforcement Officers Free Pheasant Hunt held in September at Tails-A- Waggin Acres, a premier game bird preserve in Marion, MI. The four-day event is completely free for all police officers and veterans. It includes pheasant hunting, a lunch buffet, the services of experienced guides and hunting dogs, and even bird cleaning. Many participants bring campers or tents and stay on site.
Sauer walked alongside disabled veterans and loaded their shotguns as guide dogs flushed the pheasants. She assisted veterans unable to walk the fields by lifting them out of their Action Trackchairs (all terrain off-road wheelchairs).
“I was considered their backup, if they attempted to shoot a pheasant and did not hit it, then I would shoot to ensure they killed a bird,” she said.
Sauer grew up hunting in her home state of South Dakota. She joined the Air Force in 2005 and was active duty military for eight years, serving in Afghanistan. She is certified as a U.S. Air Force Combat Arms Instructor and is a Technical Sergeant with the Air National Guard at Selfridge. She graduated from the Grand Valley State University Military Veterans Police Academy and became an Officer with the Farmington Hills Police Department in 2016.
Sauer hopes that more veterans and police officers will share in the great memories and participate in next year’s event.
“It was a humbling experience,” she said. “One of the veterans said it was wonderful to be able to shoot a pheasant while standing. His comment made me realize that certain aspects of life should not be taken for granted.”
For more information on the Free Pheasant Hunt, go to http://preservehunt.com.