Even though David Brown wasn’t among the 11 hunters who bagged a deer during the annual Buckmasters Life Hunt at Sedgefields Plantation near Safford, Ala., the reward was just being there.
Brown doesn’t remember what happened on September 11, 2010, but it was horrific. A corporal in the Montgomery Police Department, Brown was on duty as a motorcycle policeman for a funeral procession. It was Brown’s duty to close side streets in advance of the procession, which required him to pass the procession en route to the next intersection. As Brown was moving to the next intersection, a member of the procession unexpectedly pulled out and didn’t see Brown coming. The collision left Brown with life-threatening injuries. To exacerbate Brown’s tenuous position, the ambulance that was transporting him to the hospital could not negotiate an on-ramp and tipped over on its side.
Brown ended up with head trauma and lost his left arm and right leg because of the injuries. Before his accident, Brown was a hunter and angler, but the thing he missed most was that fresh air of the outdoors.
“Being outside is the main thing, and being able to hang out with the people who enjoy the same things that you do,” Brown said as he guided his motorized wheelchair around the ever-present campfire, a tribute to the legacy of Jimmy Hinton, the late patriarch of the family who donates the use of Sedgefields for the Buckmasters event. “Getting a chance to come to Buckmasters has been a real pleasure.
“They feed you good and they assist you to do the thing you were able to do before you got hurt. They transport you around to the different hunting stands. They help you in any way you need help.”
Tommy Brown, David’s father, admits the rehabilitation has been a long, difficult process, but both are optimistic.
“We’re progressing fairly well on the learning how to walk part,” said the elder Brown. “We’re having a little problem getting the prosthesis properly fitted for him so it doesn’t bother him when he walks. He’s progressing pretty well, in my opinion. We do rehab three times a week for two hours at a time. My main part is taking him back and forth to rehab.”
David spent almost three months in intensive care at Baptist South in Montgomery and then was transferred to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta.
“The Shepherd Center is a wonderful place for a spinal cord injury, brain injury or real serious physical injury,” said the elder Brown. “It’s a wonderful rehabilitation place.”
Being able to participate in the Buckmasters Life Hunt is a rehabilitation that can’t be found in hospitals, said Brown’s father.
“My son loves hunting,” he said. “This is an outlet for him to get him out of the doldrums of not being able to do anything. He wants to be independent. Being outside like this gives him comfort.”
The Alabama Conservation Enforcement Officers Association (ACEOA) sponsors a…