Branden Gary

6x6 bull close to 1,000-pound

I went to Missouri for an Elk hunt. It took us nine hours to get there. My Dad, Mom, and brother went too. We spent the night in Kirksville. We met John Bender for breakfast and then went to his ranch. He lives about 15 miles from where we were staying. Once we got to his ranch, he showed us around and I saw the Elk that I would be shooting later that day. It was bigger than I thought it would be! John’s son Hunter was there with us too. John has a pond that has catfish in it. He fed them so that I could see how big some of them were. John took us to his Uncle’s house to see the deer that he raises and he also had two Siberian tigers. It was nice to see the big deer up close. My brother got too close to one of the tigers and the tiger peed on him. We all thought that was pretty funny. We had lunch at a Mexican restaurant and then headed back to John’s ranch to hunt the elk.

We were ready to hunt the elk so I got in John’s rhino, my Dad was in the back and John was driving. We tracked down the elk and were able to get a good shot. I used my Dad’s 300 weatherby to shoot it. I was so excited to be shooing that big animal that it was hard to pull the trigger. I asked my Dad as soon as I shot the gun if I got a good shot. He said that I did. It was so awesome and I got an animal bigger than my brother did last year!! He only got a three-point buck.

It took 4 guys to load the elk on a trailer so that we could take it back to John’s barn because the meat processor was waiting for us.

After the hunt I was so excited that I could hardly sleep that night. I called Linda from the hotel room and thanked her for a great hunt and a BIG elk!

We continued our trip to Springfield, Missouri where we took a jeep tour through some Caverns. We toured the Bass Pro Shop Museum that they have in Springfield too. It was very cool to see the different kinds of mounts that were there. A lot of Fred Bear’s things were in the museum.

The next day we drove to Branson. In Branson we rode the Ducks, a vehicle that goes on land and water. It was a pretty cool ride. We went to the Body exhibit that was there too. The last day before we left, we rented a pontoon for the day and fished in Table Rock Lake. We didn’t catch anything, but it was fun anyway.

On the way home, we had to strap the elk horns to the top of our vehicle, as they were too big to put in the back and they smelled a lot too.

Linda and Andy came over the next day to hear about my hunt and to take the hide. We cooked some elk that night too and everyone had a taste.

Thank you Benefit4Kids for making my dream hunt come true!!

Branden Gary


Benefit4Kids paid for the family’s lodging, food, travel expenses, outfitter, meat processing and taxidermist for Branden’s Outdoor Wish.

Branden harvested his 6x6, close to 1,000 lb bull elk at John Benders Outdoor Adventures in Green Castle MO. Also thank you to Days Inn of Kirksville for the room discount and to Stillwaters Condominums for the discount of the condo for the families use.


Thank you letter

September 16, 2007

21660 23 Mile Road
Macomb MI 48044

To the Officers, Board Members and supporters of Benefit4Kids:

Steve and I would like to express our heartfelt thanks for the wish granted to our son, Branden Gary. Watching him be able to do something that he has always wanted to do was a very fulfilling experience. The memories created will be with us forever.

Linda went above and beyond in getting our trip organized and re-organized. Her assistance was something that we could not have done without.

Benefit4Kids is a wonderful organization and one that we will support in any way that we can in the years to come.

Again, thank you for Branden’s wish. It was a wonderful week spent together as a family.


Steve & Marla Gary