HAVA Supports Native American-Marine on Bison Hunt

Mullen, Nebraska - Honored American Veterans Afield (HAVA) was proud to host Native American and retired/disabled Marine veteran Tray Ardese on a Bison hunting in Nebraska at the Dismal River Club.

Tray Ardese, is a Native American from the Choctaw tribe, a retired United States Marine with 25 years of service, and an avid hunter. He said “This was my first opportunity, but I always knew God would provide a way for me to hunt Buffalo. It just never materialized until this hunt and I am so grateful to HAVA.”

In the Sandhills area of Nebraska, along the Dismal River, retired National Football League player and Nebraska native, John Howell, hosted the hunt with Dismal River Outfitters at the Dismal River Club. A restored and now self-sustaining herd of Bison make these rolling prairie-land hills their home. Each year only a few Bison are harvested for herd management. Ardese’s hunt and experience in Nebraska was a success and he expressed extreme gratitude to all that contributed.

HAVA’s Outreach Manager, Heath Gunns who was there to support the hunt said “HAVA is extremely grateful to John and the Dismal River team for the work they do to help preserve the American Bison; and for this amazing and very select opportunity for a veteran to pursue such an iconic animal. We are so pleased to be a part of bringing Tray on this hunt.”

HAVA continues to adapt operations in order to continue serving our Nation’s veterans, despite the limitations imposed by COVID-19. In 2021 smaller training and hunting events will be held to conform with safety standards. Tom Taylor, HAVA’s CEO said “we look forward to a day in the very near future when we can hold our Family Day events, and other larger gatherings again, to reach as many veterans as possible. Until then, we will continue to honor those we serve with smaller range events and hunts, such as this”.


About HAVA

HAVA is a 501(c)3 organization formed by companies in the shooting and outdoor industry with the purpose of raising awareness and further assisting disabled veterans with their healing process through guided hunts, shooting events and other outdoor sports activities. The sustaining sponsor companies are Smith & Wesson, National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), SIG SAUER, Academi, Arnold Defense, Crimson Trace, E3 Training, FMG Publications, GLOCK, Hornady, Leapers/UTG, Leupold & Stevens, Mossberg, National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers (NASGW), Operation Hat Trick, Ruger, Savage, Surefire, Taurus, Vista Outdoor/Federal, XS Sights, and Yamaha Outdoors among numerous contributing companies. To learn more about HAVA, go to:

About Dismal river Club

Dismal River Club is a membership club in Nebraska with golfing, hunting, shooting, and outdoor activities on 100,000 acres. To learn more about Dismal River, go to: