“They call it a Dream Hunt, and it literally was,” said Kaitlin Kalwei, senior environmental sciences student and 2013 Winchester Blind Side Dream Hunt winner. “The Winchester Dream Hunt was something not everyone gets to do, and I am so appreciative that I had this opportunity.”
Kalwei was surfing Facebook in October 2013, and stumbled upon a link to enter to win the Winchester Blind Side Dream Hunt. She thought “why not,” and filled out a page with her name and email address. She was beyond shocked when the Winchester Repeating Arms company called her at home in Greenwood, Mo., during Thanksgiving break and informed she was the winner.
“To top it off, Winchester told me I could bring a guest,” Kalwei said. “When I asked my younger brother Brandon if he was in, it took him about two breaths to say yes.”
Hunting is a big part of the Kalwei family. Kalwei’s father taught her to shoot at age 14, and since then she has progressed and enjoys hunting deer, turkey and waterfowl.
The Hunt was held Dec. 15-19, at Cheyenne Ridge in Nebraska. The trip was all expenses paid, including airfare, rental cars, food, ammunition, and a hunting guide and dog. Winchester gave Kalwei and her brother firearms to borrow for the week, and gave each of them head to toe Drake hunting gear to keep. Kalwei also received 10 cases of ammunition, enough to last her for a lifetime.
Kalwei and her brother spent their days during the Hunt scoping out waterfowl, which includes ducks and geese, and upland bird.
“This was definitely the trip of a lifetime and one I will always cherish,” Kalwei said. “I am so glad I was able to experience it with my brother. We’re both avid hunters and have shot Winchester ammunition for years. I can’t wait for our next hunt back home in Missouri.”
Kalwei is on the water quality track in environmental sciences, and hopes to use her love for water and nature in her future career. She is currently the president of the MU chapter of Ducks Unlimited.
This was Winchester’s third year holding the Dream Hunt Sweepstakes. Next year’s Dream Hunt will be held in Missouri with Drury Outdoors.