Welcome to Challenge the Outdoors, Inc.



PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE – Carl Gierke   As some of you know, CTO started about 20 years ago with a small group of people and a deer hunt for disabled hunters. The vision and hard work of that small group has evolved into an organization that now has well over 200 members and offers many hunting, fishing and other events. This would not have happened without the help of many dedicated people that often volunteer for years and at the same time recruit, train and help others to take over in the future. CTO’s recent deer hunt that ran from October 5th thru the 13th was a good reminder of that team effort and willingness to help.  The process of setting up a hunt for approximately 30 people is not an easy one. It involves signing up hunters, contacting landowners, setting up tents, mentoring hunters and purchasing and preparing food, just to name a few of the responsibilities, but so many people stepped up and contributed to make it a fun, safe and successful event. Thanks again to everyone that participated, whatever role you played!

                The willingness and enthusiasm of our volunteers, old and new, that simply step up to the plate to get things done is impressive. CTO wouldn’t function without these folks and you should be proud of your generosity and selfless efforts to make someone’s life a little better. Of course, the unintended result is that you often make your life a little better by doing so. A reminder of that occurred on the first day of CTO’s deer hunt when Russ Longrie, a relatively new member that has already helped with several events, helped “Captain” Deb Arendt, one of our blind members, shoot a deer on the first day of her first hunt. With a big smile on his face, Russ mentioned that in his 45 years of hunting he had more fun helping Deb get a deer than he ever had shooting one himself. Congratulations to Deb and Russ!

                As you continue your outdoor pursuits this fall, I wish you luck and please remember to be safe out there. Wisconsin’s outdoor opportunities are many, but they can also be dangerous and your safety and the safety of those around you should always be the top priority. Because our next newsletter won’t come out until January of next year, I also hope that each of you has a happy holiday season and that 2020 is a good year for you, your friends, and your family.  See you then!  

NAVARINO NATURE CENTER SAFARI (RECAP)– Carl Gierke     On Wednesday, October 16th, 12 intrepid souls braved cool temperatures and serious winds to tour the Navarino Wildlife Area via a trolley provided by the Navarino Nature Center. Before we headed out, the group enjoyed lunch, had a chance to socialize with each other and checked out the displays and taxidermy inside the nature center. After bundling up and heading out, the tour took us through some beautiful ridges and wetlands and Tim Ewing, the nature center’s director, was on board to discuss some of the area’s plants, wildlife and management practices. The bad news was that the weather made for a bad hair day and kept much of the wildlife in hiding, but the good news was mosquitos were scarce and the fall colors were gorgeous. After the tour, we had a chance to enjoy some hot chocolate and good conversation before heading home. The safari is a fun way to get out and see Wisconsin’s fall colors and we look forward to doing it again next year.       

GUN DEER HUNTING RESULTS- David Paul   Fourteen hunters claimed success this year on our wet and soggy gun hunting season. Those hunters that bagged a buck were Mike Quasius, Clayton Goffard, Steve Blount, John Sticka and Tommy Narmore.  Hunters who bagged a doe were Lauri Dubord, Deb Arendt, Steve Harvey, Cliff Pheifer, Gary Vanden Heuvel, Randy Graham, Jim Lesselyong, Bill Mecha and Randy Swille. Congratulations to these hunters. Special Thanks goes out to Tony Gehr, Bill Mayville, Mike Schulze, Chouse Hartlaben, Don Uphill, Carl Gierke, Russ Longrie, Norb Dallman, Keith Hartjes and Steve Harvey for setting up and taking down tents, mentoring and hauling gators. The folks that prepared food for the group did their usual fabulous job! Your gift of time and effort is very much appreciated by CTO.

NEW MEMBERS Please welcome the following new members to CTO. Patrick Belanger JR., John Hutchison, Ronald Parsons, Russ Longrie, Richard Gillette, Gary Smith, and William Mateer.


ARCHERY DEER HUNT 2019 (RECAP)- Keith Hartjes    The hunt was held Sept. 20-22 and based out of the Christus Church Camp near Clintonville. There were 10 hunters that participated and there were two deer harvested. The weather was wet, hot and foggy.  Food was prepared by Keith Hartjes and the Friday evening food was donated by Jimmy Johns of Kaukauna. There were a lot of jokes and laughter shared by all. Sunday’s rain came in early, which ended the hunt sooner than planned. Next year’s event is scheduled for Sept. 18-20. Thanks to all who helped as mentors and came out to share in the fun.  

SCOPING THE GREAT OUTDOORS- Bob Schuh     If you’re a deer hunter in Wisconsin you know what the term “thee opener” means. It is like a religious holiday for the deer hunters that starts the Saturday before Thanksgiving with the season running for nine days. However, if you are a holder of a permit for disabled hunters, Thee Opener, starts on the first Saturday in Oct. with that season also running for nine days. Challenge The Outdoors (CTO) sponsors one of these deer hunts on farms that are set aside for those nine days just for the hunters with qualifying disabilities. This year CTO had 30 hunters that took part in this deer hunt. The whole group met at the Town of Lesser town hall on opening morning for a huge brunch where the outstanding volunteer cooks made a scrumptious brunch that could have fed an army. We had cheesy hash browns (my favorite), scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage patty’s, ham, various cheeses, sausage, crackers, juices, coffee, and a calorie short of a ton of desserts. Just so you know, I didn’t even mention half of the food available to the hunters, landowners, and all the volunteer help that helps pull off this hunt. After a short safety meeting we were off to the woods for the hunt we were all excited to be on. It was a rainy day which made the fields muddy and the woods constantly dripping even when the rain would hold up for short periods of time. Nevertheless, success for some of the hunters came in short order, as at least four of them scored that first day. Our CTO president, Carl Gierke, put the pressure on me during the brunch on the second morning when he announced that two of the deer were harvested by a couple of blind women, one of which was on her first ever hunt and only the second time handling a gun. During the week, 14 deer, including five bucks were harvested from the farms that were set up for these deer hunters in and around the Shawano and Bonduel area. For me, this would not be my year. The first three years hunting with the CTO group found me with a successful hunt. I put in more hours this season than I had in any other, but the weather with the rains and winds just didn’t have the deer moving in my area. Sure was a lot of fun though meeting up with all the others that take part in our CTO deer hunt. Now I’m just looking forward to next year’s hunt with the friends I made through CTO. (Note: Bob is a long-time CTO member who writes outdoor articles for the Manitowoc Lakeshore Chronicle. He originally wrote this article for that newspaper and it is reprinted with his permission).

SPRING TURKEY HUNT – Tom Narmore       This coming May of 2020, Challenge the Outdoors is teaming up with Shadows on the Wolf for a spring turkey hunt for our disabled members. We are able to take approximately ten hunters and the hunt will be from May 15th through May 17th. Lodging for the hunt will be provided at the Christus Memorial Camp located just outside of Clintonville. Food will also be provided throughout the hunt; however, we will be doing a potluck dinner on Saturday afternoon. The main course will be provided by Challenge the Outdoors. (Further food details to come.) Since we are limited on the number of participants we can accept, we will be giving preference to those who have never turkey hunted and to those who have never harvested a turkey.  Deadline to send in for your turkey tag is December 10th 2019. If you forget to apply by that deadline, you can also purchase a tag over the counter sometime near the end of March 2020. When applying for or purchasing your turkey tag, please make sure you obtain one tag for zone 3, period E (5th period.) No matter how many tags you obtain, you will only be able to harvest one bearded turkey. The spring turkey hunt for May 2020 sign-up will begin January 15th, 2020 and go till March 15th, 2020. No exceptions. Your cooperation is needed for better planning with our mentors and landowners. Please note that sign-up for 2020 is a little earlier than normal and that, per CTO rules, if you sign up for this event and don't show up without contacting me with a reasonable excuse, you may not be able to attend the following year. Also, please let me know if you think you might need help with any personal care issues, as it may be your responsibility to bring your own assistant, depending on the issue(s). There will be plenty of room and food for your assistant to stay with you the whole event. To sign up, please contact Tom Narmore @ (920)410-4436 or email him @ narmore1988@yahoo.com.

WINTER HOLIDAY PARTY 2020 – Deb Pheifer     This February 15th CTO will host its Holiday Party at Willow Creek lanes at 2020 Verlin Road in Green Bay. (Please note that this is a change in location from the last few years). The festivities will commence at 11AM and run until 4PM. Lunch will be served at 11AM with bowling starting at 1 PM and continuing until 4 PM. When making your reservation with Steve or Deb, you will be asked if you prefer pizza or chicken tenders. CTO will also include cheese and veggie trays, fruit trays, cake and soda. You are welcome to bring your own shoes and bowling ball. You will need to call or text Steve Harvey at 920-494-3143 or Deb Pheifer at 715- 412-4162 by January 10th to reserve your spot.

TUESDAY SHOOTS AT J&H GAME FARM – Carl Gierke      You may have noticed the monthly Tuesday Shoots on the CTO calendar. These sporting clay shoots are held the second Tuesday of every month and are open to all CTO members. All you need to do is show up (Pre-registration is not necessary) and tell Diane, or someone at the desk at J&H, that you are with CTO and CTO will take care of the cost of your shooting and shells. Shooting is held rain or shine and there are no rain dates. We encourage you to show up about 10AM to shoot with other CTO folks and share your knowledge of shooting, provide help to anyone that may need it and maybe have a little competitive fun. Hope to see you out there!!  

CTO SPORTING CLAY FUNDRAISER This year’s fundraiser will be Saturday, April 4th at J&H Game Farm just outside of Navarino. Look for more information in our January and March Newsletters regarding this important event.

CHAPLAIN SERVICES OFFERED TO CTO MEMBERS       CTO member Ron Urmanski, a retired Chaplain from the U.S. military, has graciously offered Chaplain services to any CTO member in need. These roles and services are outlined below:


·         The role of a Chaplain is to provide Spiritual Care (CHRISTIAN) in a non-denominational way.

·         Always defaulting to Scripture for answers in a loving and caring way.

·         Personal counseling and advice will not be offered due to liability issues.

·         Christian visits, involving end of life issues and preparation, prayer and Communion for those who have faith in Jesus Christ, salvation and funeral services.

·         I am a retired Hospice Chaplain of 11.5 years, with leadership and teaching in the Christian Church for most of my adult life.

·         I am offering my services as a Chaplain to CTO members at no charge!

·         Visits will be scheduled based on my availability, unless it is an emergency. Emergencies will be ASAP.

·         Please Email all questions to chaplainron316@gmail.com     (I check my emails at least 2x a day).


TECHNOLOGY INFORMATION- Sharon LeFevre                                                   

*CTO’s Website address:  www.ctoforme.org   

*Facebook is:  CTO - Challenge The Outdoors (this is a public group). Please note that you need to access this Facebook group page through Facebook and search for our name.

*Facebook group page for CTO is https://www.facebook.com/groups/challengetheoutdoors/  

-If you have questions regarding any of the above, you can contact Sharon at 920-615-2356 or   



AWARDS PROGRAM      Each year at its annual banquet in July, CTO awards prizes for the biggest deer, turkey and fish of different species that are harvested at, or outside of, CTO events. These awards hopefully encourage members to get out and hunt and fish whenever they have a chance. If you’d like to register an animal for consideration in the awards program, please contact CTO’s awards coordinator, Deb Pheifer at 715-412-4162 or email at deb57ncliff55@gmail.com    

CTO ONGOING PROGRAMS -   CTO has several programs designed to supplement the cost of outdoor activities and encourage disabled members to get out and have some fun. To be eligible for these programs, you must be a member for at least one year. See the website for further additional information and application forms. Otherwise, please contact the chairperson if you have questions. These include:

1)       Shooting Policy – Designed to encourage members to participate in shooting sports, allows up to $50.00 per year toward membership in sporting/gun club(s). Original receipts must be submitted for reimbursement.   Contact – Jim Adamovich

2)       Adaptive Equipment – Supplements the cost of disability-related equipment necessary for a disabled member to take part in a hunting or fishing activity. Original receipts must be submitted for reimbursement, which is half the cost of the item up to a maximum of $100 annually.  Contact – Pat Nieuwenhuis.

3)       Field Grants – Supplements the cost of guided or otherwise expensive hunting or fishing trips up to a maximum of $200 per year, with a maximum of three in a lifetime. Applications should be submitted two months before the event and receipts for reimbursement are required. Contact – Pat Nieuwenhuis