A Canton man with learning disabilities due to Down Syndrome received a special opportunity to employ a natural talent that he has worked to develop and improve.
Floyd Alfred "Boomer" Spotser IV, 25, of Canton was involved in a hunting expedition in New Castle, Wyo., last August.
The trip, two years in the planning, was conducted in August. It was an antelope hunt.
Boomer appears to have a natural talent for archery, and he also has practiced it for quite some time at Ellsworth Archery in Banner. His teacher, Sonny Thomas, has worked with him one-on-one for the past two years to get him prepared for the hunt.
"If not for him, Boomer would not have had the expertise to do this at all," said Boomer's mother, Deb Sposter.
Boomer had found out about the opportunity for a hunting expedition while viewing an online forum for archers, looking for advice. He had asked whether there were any special hunts going on.
Brad Jones, 37, a New Castle resident and an experienced hunter, responded to his request. At the time, Boomer had never been on a hunt due to his fear of heights and the need to hunt from stands in Illinois. At the time, antelope numbers were down, so an advance tag for the next season had to be acquired.
Boomer was quite excited to be given the opportunity. After he traveled to Wyoming ahead of schedule, they had time to do some sight seeing.
"He was so excited about the hunt, he slept in his camouflage clothing the night before," his mother noted.
The first day of the hunt was a quiet one, however, yielding no opportunity to bring down an antelope.
However, on Saturday, Aug. 18, Boomer got his first good chance, and he made the most of it. They had been hunting near watering holes because of the dry year. When the first buck came closer, Boomer made his move and his arrow struck the antelope through the heart, for a clean kill.
"I have never been more excited in my entire life!" Jones exclaimed. "We were both jumping up and down, screaming, yelling and hugging."
Boomer's mother had stayed back at the house, but Jones called her from his cell phone to let Boomer talk. All Boomer could say to her was, "I got one but I can't talk."
The trip, largely done out of the kindness of a caring soul, was a success. Boomer had never field dressed or butchered any wild game, so Jones took care of the butchering.
The community was very supportive and happy for Boomer, with a friend of Jones mounting the antelope for him.
After the hunt, Jones took Boomer to the Bighorn Mountains to trout fish, as well as to see moose and elk in the wild.
Page 2 of 2 - Boomer is currently waiting for his mounted trophy to arrive. The taxidermy work as well as the hunt were all provided for him free of charge by arrangements made by Jones.
Boomer currently works at Hy-Vee and vastly enjoys his job.
"I'm so proud of him," Deb Spotser said. "He is so lucky to work with such wonderful, supportive people!”
Boomer also does scenery and pencil sketch artwork.