Friends of Wister Needs Help!

Update 5/29/11 – Steve of FOW reports that the tractor is now being repaired! Thanks to all who contributed.

Friends of Wister, a volunteer sportsman’s group comprised of hunters that primarily hunt at the Wister State Wildlife Area, needs donations! FOW has a forum page on The Outdoors Forum if you’d like to check it out.

Steve Turigliatto, of FOW, just spent a couple of days out at Wister. Steve reported that the guys working out there are hustling like he’s never seen before. Steve says Rick Francis (acting manager) has really changed the attitude about taking some pride in the work being done.

Having said that Steve told me they are really strapped for money to fix equipment. Most of the repairs are now being done in house, but there are some machines that take special mechanics. One of those machines is the Cat D-7 tractor. The Cat D-7 is an essential piece of equipment to prepare Wister for the next hunting season. Without this essential piece of equipment Wister will likely not be ready when hunting season arrives in October. Of course, due to the State budget cuts there is no money to make these essential repairs.

Rick gave Steve the rundown on what’s broken on the D-7. The Batteries need to be replaced, the turbo needs replacing and repairs to the exhaust are required. Also the air conditioner is broken, which is very expensive and will limit the usefulness of the D-7 to about 3 hours a day without it. (If you’re not aware it will soon be about 120 degrees and above out there).

They have a local mechanic that will do the work for $62.00 an hour (which Steve says is great deal). The job should take about 20 hours. The parts come to about $2500.00.

Steve asked me to post up a request for all “Wisterites”, or anybody else who might hunt there for that matter, to come up with the money to get this critical piece of equipment fixed. Steve said he knows the state should pay for this stuff, but he still feels (and I tend to agree) that this is one of our “duck clubs” and we should treat it accordingly.

Steve said he’d start the ball rolling with the first $500.00. I’ve kicked in $50.00 myself (even though I haven’t been to Wister for a few years. Of course, that doesn’t mean I won’t go to Wister a time or two next season. I’ll post hunting reports if/when we do.)

Steve got a little more info on the Cat D-7 from Rick. If you can believe it it’s a 1970. That’s a 41-year old tractor the state is making them get by with! (Can’t say they’re not getting their money’s worth out of that one). The bad turbo that is on it is a rebuilt and needs to be replaced. A new turbo is about $1650.00. It needs two (2) new batteries to the tune of about $430 each. In addition it needs a new exhaust/air filter pre-cleaner unit at about $120. The air conditioner is also broken on the D-7 and, as noted before, without the AC they can only run that Cat for about 3 hours a day.

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