Larry Dakin, Gene Trisch and Mike Thurlow of Maine have taken on a mission to give back to our veterans in a HUGE WAY which we're hopeful will have HUGE results come time for the next veteran Sturgeon Spearing Retreat. Sturgeon reach a size of roughly 7-8 feet long, roughly 300 pounds and 150 years old... true dinosaurs!
Gene is a Vietnam Veteran of Maine, originally from Michigan where his father used to make some of the very best Sturgeon Spears back in the day for Sturgeon Spearers in Michigan and Wisconsin. He heard about the strugeon spearing retreat, found out the House in the Woods team is in need of spears, and decided he would take on this great project, to donate.
Larry is a retired machinist and Navy Vietnam Veteran! Larry graciously offered to make the spear detents for our fellow Veterans.
Mike Thurlow from Lee, Maine graciously offered to make the wood handles using curly maple for the spears! To use rare Curly Maple for the handles shows me how much respect Mike Thurlow has for Veterans!
Gene contacted the Wisconsin DNR and talked to officer Jason Higgins to get the legal specifications of the spears and found out that the spear handle should have a detent to separate from the spear for safety reasons! Jason elaborated by saying, A 200 lb. Sturgeon could do some damage with a 7 foot handle!
Gene then contacted the Te-Co Company from Union, Ohio and talked to Scott Johnston. Scott graciously offered to supply the Plungers for the detents. It was a huge help because he sent samples so we could decide on the correct plungers for the detents. The detents are a machined tool holding the spear handle onto the spear and it will separate on impacting a sturgeon.
Gene didn't stop short of considering the safety of our veterans. So much time, energy, love and talent was put into creation of these spears that there's no doubt not only will they be a tool to be used during the Sturgeon Spearing retreat for years and years to come but all of the love put into them sure will make them LUCKY!!!
Margaret Stadig, Wisconsins top Sturgeon Biologist, also called Gene about the Sturgeon spear specifications.
Thank you G-NO for all of the love and care you've put into these spears. We're so grateful you're part of the House in the Woods family... these spears will stay with the retreat for years to come and will carry with them years and years of memory and camaraderie amongst the veterans.
Thank you to Gene, Mike, Larry, and each person that was involved in this project. What a blessing you all are to your fellow veterans, and to the House in the Woods mission of Giving Back.
If anyone is interested in applying for the Wisconsin Veteran Sturgeon Spearing Retreat you can do so at the House in the Woods website. Attendees will be selected August 31st, 2022.