Idaho elk hunt is dream trip for Somerset youth

  • Article by: DOUG SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 9, 2014 - 4:30 PM
hide

Brad Marcello posed with the elk he bagged in Idaho last fall. With him, from left, were his stepfather, Roger Gebhard; his mother, Lori Gebhard; friend and videographer Ron Hill and Eric Steingraber of Shot for Hope, a nonprofit group that paid for Marcello’s hunt. “I couldn’t say anything but ‘wow’ when we got up to it and I saw how big it was,” Marcello said.

Photo: Courtesy of Ron Hill,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Brad Marcello has big dreams.

And he hasn’t let a genetic bone disorder that has resulted in about 150 fractures and numerous surgeries prevent him from pursuing his passions, including hunting.

“I love the outdoors,” said the 17-year-old from Somerset, Wis. His tracked and powered wheelchair provides access to the countryside, where he fishes, camps and hunts turkeys, bear, whitetails — and elk. “It’s a blast,” he said. “I love everything outside.”

Last fall, one of his big dreams came true when he went on a trip of a lifetime to Idaho and bagged a huge 5X6 bull elk, using a rifle mounted to his chair.

“I was kind of in shock,” he said. “I couldn’t say anything but ‘wow’ when we got up to it and I saw how big it was. I’ve never seen an animal that big.”

Among those witnessing Marcello’s adventure was Eric Steingraber of Hudson. Steingraber and his wife, Missy, both avid hunters who in 2012 formed Shot for Hope, a nonprofit group that offers young hunters with life-threatening illnesses or life-altering disabilities an all-expenses-paid hunt of their dreams.

Marcello was their first recipient.

“It was a life-changing experience for me,” said Steingraber, 40. “It’s so inspiring to see someone accomplish that. It was overpowering. He had a lot of challenges out there.”

Including rain and steep terrain.

“It was like straight up,” said Marcello, “and I told them I wasn’t going to go up. But I didn’t have a choice.”

He made it to the top, where he shot his elk.

“Without Shot for Hope, we couldn’t have done this,” said Marcello’s mom, Lori Gebhard. “You’re talking a lot of money.”

The Steingraber’s 13-year-old daughter, Cali, has cerebral palsy. She was given a chance to go on a hunt in northern Wisconsin with adaptive equipment, and Eric Steingraber said it opened his eyes to the possibilities. So they started Shot for Hope.

“Parents don’t understand their kids can do this,” he said.

Hunting opens doors

Marcello, a junior at Somerset High School, has osteogenesis imperfecta, also called brittle bone disease, characterized by fragile bones that break easily. There is no cure.

“We quit counting fractures, but it’s between 150 and 155,” Gebhard said. “And he’s had five surgeries, the last in 2012 to stabilize scoliosis in his spine.”

Said Marcello: “I had to lay flat for six months. That drove me nuts. It was boring.”

He can’t walk, and uses his power chair to get around. His rifle mounts to the chair, which absorbs the recoil that otherwise could break his bones.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Baltimore 2 FINAL
Detroit 15
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Northeastern 1 FINAL
Boston 2
Miami-Fla 1 FINAL
Miami 7
Pittsburgh 8 FINAL
Toronto 7
San Francisco 4 FINAL
Oakland 9
Cleveland 0 FINAL
Cincinnati 10
Boston College 0 FINAL
Boston 1
Arizona State 0 FINAL
Arizona 4
Boston 79 FINAL
Cleveland 110
LA Lakers 103 FINAL
Charlotte 104
Sacramento 124 FINAL
New York 86
Houston 96 FINAL
Atlanta 104
Utah 93 FINAL
Memphis 82
Washington 92 FINAL
Chicago 97
Milwaukee 68 3rd Qtr 2:46
Denver 72
Nashville 1 FINAL
New Jersey 3
Calgary 3 FINAL(OT)
Philadelphia 2
Washington 5 FINAL
Columbus 3
Buffalo 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay 3
Toronto 3 FINAL
Florida 2
Ottawa 2 2nd OT :00
Minnesota 2
NY Islanders 1 3rd Prd 12:14
Dallas 2
Anaheim 2 3rd Prd
Arizona 1
Los Angeles 3 2nd Prd 13:46
Edmonton 0
San Jose 3 1st Prd 1:00
Vancouver 0
Ole Miss 82 FINAL
Alabama 74
Eastern Mich 67 FINAL
Ball State 60
Kent State 81 FINAL
Bowling Green 80
Ohio 66 FINAL
Buffalo 93
Georgetown 60 FINAL
Butler 54
Toledo 77 FINAL
Central Mich 85
Rhode Island 59 FINAL
Dayton 75
Youngstown St 67 FINAL
Detroit 77
North Carolina 81 FINAL
Georgia Tech 49
Loyola-Maryland 45 FINAL
Holy Cross 62
Iowa 77 FINAL
Indiana 63
Akron 63 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 70
Army 52 FINAL
Navy 56
Maryland 60 FINAL
Rutgers 50
Kennesaw St 54 FINAL
USC Upstate 90
Jacksonville 63 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 81
Lipscomb 76 FINAL
Northern Ky 73
Stetson 67 FINAL
North Florida 81
Wright State 57 FINAL
Ill-Chicago 60
Western Mich 63 FINAL
Northern Ill 65
Nebraska Omaha 80 FINAL
North Dakota 78
Houston Baptist 71 FINAL
Abilene Christian 83
NC State 46 2nd Half 5:44
Clemson 33
Texas A&M 36 2nd Half 6:05
Florida 47
Kentucky 45 2nd Half 10:51
Georgia 50
West Virginia 50 2nd Half 9:59
Kansas 39
Auburn 56 2nd Half 3:47
Missouri 51
Michigan 53 2nd Half 1:31
Northwestern 49
Villanova 44 2nd Half 14:37
Creighton 38
Longwood 55 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 63
Charleston Southern 39 FINAL
Presbyterian 47
Coastal Carolina 54 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 68
NJIT 51 FINAL
UMass Lowell 60
West Virginia 55 FINAL
Kansas State 59
TCU 45 FINAL
Texas 79
Fresno State 61 2nd Half 0:43
Air Force 41
San Jose St 76 FINAL
Boise State 91
Nevada 55 2nd Half 1:09
Colorado State 64
UNLV 39 2nd Half 6:01
San Diego State 62
Wyoming 59 2nd Half 0:20
Utah State 56

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Wild finish out the season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close