Joe Keckeisen is the owner of New Order Productions focusing on the outdoor industry. He has filmed with many outdoor television shows including The Buck Commanders, Sporting Dog Adventures, and Sheep Shape TV airing on the Sportsman Channel in July of 2015. You can check with him on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter
I consider myself very fortunate in many ways. One of which being introduced to the outdoors at an early age by my father and family. It was something that like many other who enjoy the outdoors, know that once it’s in your blood, it is there to stay. Looking forward to all of the traditional things such as spring turkey hunting, opening day of the firearm season for whitetails, annual ice fishing trips, among the many other annual traditions. I would be willing to bet that those who look forward to these things every year rank these at the top or near the top of things that are important to them. I certainly was one of those people that could not wait to grab my bow, gun, or fishing rod in hopes I would have something new to decorate the walls of my home with. Vacations revolve around spawning times, rut activity, and when my slot was chosen to chase around the thunder chickens to name a few. These were times of the season that I simply considered “my time”. As if I earned this time by working my 40 hour work weeks, did all my honey do lists, etc…. This all changed for me a couple of years ago.
I was fortunate back a few years ago as I was contacted by an organization that focuses on taking children that have life altering or life threatening illnesses on a dream hunt of their choice. This organization Shot For Hope, holds an annual fund raiser in Northwestern Wisconsin every year to help take these kids on hunts such as elk and white-tailed deer in various place across the U.S. We were asked if we could come up for the day and help out the fund raiser by assisting with running the one of the many events they have from sporting clays, a 3D archery course, archery skill games, to the dunk tank to name a few. What a great day with great people for a great cause! The following year, I was asked by the organization’s founders if I would be willing to film the 2 hunts in 2014 for Shot For Hope. I was privileged! Little did I know I was the one going on a dream hunt.
In October of 2014 I went on 2 hunts that changed my passion of hunting and where my priorities lie forever. I had the honor of meeting the entire immediate families of the 2 boys that were chosen for this that year’s hunts. One boy has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and the other has Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Both diseases present everyday challenges that makes hunting more difficult than most children their age. But watching them enjoy every moment of the hunt with giant smiles on their faces over coming any obstacle in their way was such an inspiration! It is witnessing the reactions of these kids that has changed my passion and “my time”. The enjoyment of grabbing my camera gear vs. grabbing my bow, gun, or rod and capturing these experiences to be enjoyed in the future is far more enjoyable. Listening to the kids tell their stories of the hunt later that night to family and friends when little or no deer were around but still had the time of their lives puts things into perspective. I look forward to meeting more families in the future that have dream hunts to fulfill and capturing the whole experience to be watched and treasured for years to come!
For more information or if you wish to make a donation you can visit Shot For Hope’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ShotForHope You can also see both of last year’s hunts there on the Facebook page as well.