Outdoors Without Limits hosts ninth annual squirrel hunt

Published 12:14 am Sunday, February 21, 2010

NATCHEZ — If Trey Ordoyne’s Friday morning was any indication, he’s pretty skilled at aiming and shooting.

The 12-year-old from Franklinton, La., just needed one shot to take out a squirrel at the Outdoors Without Limits ninth annual squirrel hunt at the Peterson Pine Plantation in Adams County.

Ordoyne decided to retire from the squirrel hunt while he was ahead, and that shot was the only one he fired Friday. Having taken his first squirrel, Ordoyne said he was content with just the one.

“I’m a country boy,” Ordoyne said. “I was raised in the country. I love doing this sort of stuff.”

Diagnosed with mitochondrial myopathy when he was 5, Ordoyne said he was the youngest person in the entire country to be diagnosed with the disease. Mitochondrial myopathy is a mitochondrion disorder that affects the body’s energy output and muscle development.

Ordoyne’s condition made him a prime candidate to go squirrel hunting with Outdoors Without Limits, which specializes in allowing people with diseases and disabilities a chance to hunt and enjoy the outdoors.

“To be able to do something like this is a big blessing,” Ordoyne said. “It lifts my spirit. It just brings me so much encouragement being able to do something I enjoy and that I know I can do.”

Given what Ordoyne has had to overcome since a very young age, many would say it’s a miracle that he’s able to go on a hunt at all. However, Ordoyne said he’s no stranger to overcoming.

“When I was young, I had really bad seizures a lot,” Ordoyne said. “My parents would rush me to the hospital to get tests done. I was in a bubble and had tubes coming out of me. I have had about 40 shots all over my body, including my head, my face, my feet, all over my arms and a couple on my legs. Pretty much anywhere you can imagine.

“The doctor told me I would never walk. But, at age 5, I walked right into the hospital. I proved them wrong.”

Ordoyne came on the hunt with his grandfather, William Foil. Foil said he doesn’t get to hunt with his grandson much because of work, but being able to come to the squirrel hunt was a big deal for his grandson.

“Trey loves to hunt,” Foil said. “It just means the world to be able to bring him. (Hunt organizer) Jim Bob (Allgood) does a great job with these kids and makes it all about the kids.”

Allgood said the Friday morning squirrel hunt each February serves as a way to get the year off to the right start for Outdoors Without Limits.

“It’s just a weekend of fun,” Allgood said. “Many kids, dads and daughters will get their first squirrels ever and be part of a life-changing weekend.

“In today’s rat race — in the normal business world — people hustle and bustle and always worry about their own problems. Until you’ve walked through the woods and been outdoors with a wounded warrior, a cancer patient or even a kid from broken home, it makes your problems seem small.”

Kelly Edge, from HGTV’s show “Decorating Cents,” heard about the hunt from Allgood when she was in Natchez a few months ago for the Natchez Children’s Home celebrity golf tournament. She flew from California to be a part of it.

“The first time I came here, I just loved Mississippi, and all the people in Natchez, so I couldn’t wait to get back,” Edge said.

“It was my first time hunting, and the looks on those kids faces when they shot the gun was worth its price in gold.”