Article by Doug Besherse – Jun 21, 2005


After attending another Kicking Bear event I am left with the same feelings as I had before. The feeling as simply as I can state it is this. Archery and the Outdoors has the ability to make a tremendous positive impact on a young person’s life. It is more than just a feeling I have, it is a verifiable fact. Ray Howell is a living example of this fact.

I have made my career in the hunting industry. I am constantly surrounded by quality hunters who have attained many things hunting. When it comes to bow hunting Ray has very few equals. Simply put he is the best one that I personally know.

Ray understands the positive impact that that Archery and the Outdoors has on a young person. Understanding this is the reason he developed the Kicking Bear Program, but he didn’t really start Kicking Bear.

Tom Poulkey is who really started it. When Ray was young Tom took him hunting four times. At the time Ray was having a hard go of life and needed an adult friend, a mentor.

Tom came into his life and showed him an avenue to life he would have never seen otherwise. It gave Ray a goal or a boyhood dream as some would describe it. Ray has been living that dream for quiet some time now. In turn he is trying to instill dreams in other young people.

Sadly in the early summer of 2005 Tom passed on from his walk here on earth. His legacy will live on though through the trickle down effect of the Kicking Bear Program.

Ray developed the program to help troubled youths and children from broken homes. The program is open to all children but Ray’s main goal is to help those children that really need help. It is a great program and I would encourage you to participate in it.

That said you don’t have to have Kicking Bear to help a troubled child. You can do what Tom did with Ray. He took Ray out four times, which in ways doesn’t seem like much. From those four ‘donated’ trips afield with a young person, Tom changed the life of not only Ray, but all the young people that will be positively impacted by the Kicking Bear program.

Tom, you don’t know me but I know you. We have talked many times on the phone and in person, although you don’t remember it. I have ridden with you in a truck, stayed in your home. You picked me up at the airport one time when you could have just sent someone else to do it, but you can’t recall any of it. You have enriched my life but you have no idea who I even am. You see every time I talk with Ray it is because of you.

Tom Poulkey thank you Sir for making the world a better place.

To everyone else I hope this encourages you to do your part to make the world a better place.

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