The One Arm Dove Hunt was created by two local Olney, TX, residents, Jack Northrup and Jack Bishop (a/k/a “The One-Armed Jacks”), both of whom have had a limb amputated at the shoulder in 1972. Jack Bishop lost his arm when he was two years old from cancer. Jack Northrup lost his arm in an auto accident in July 1956.
While sitting at the local drugstore, in order to harass two eavesdropping strangers the Jacks loudly began discussing how they planned to go hunting with their muzzle-loaded shotguns and bolt-action rifles. The discussion was meant as a joke – either firearm would be next to impossible to operate with only one limb – but eventually the Jacks did hold an actual One-Arm Dove Hunt, attended by six Olney residents who had lost arms (mainly due to oilfield accidents) and others who had heard of the event through the grapevine or a George Dolan article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
The event grew quickly, spread only by word of mouth, so the Jacks expanded the event to two days and included events such as one-armed trap-shooting, one-arm horseshoes, cow-chip throwing, and a “10-cents a finger” breakfast on the day of the hunt. The primary purpose of the event, though, is for upper-limb amputees to exchange stories, find friendship and support, and swap tips for living with missing upper-limbs. The One Arm Dove Hunt was deemed “Texas’s Most Unusual Event.”
On the 40th anniversary of the Hunt the Olney Chamber of Commerce honored the two Jacks at their annual Chamber dinner.
Jack Bishop passed away on June 20, 2011, at the age of 89. Jack Northrup continued with the hunt until he passed away on May 1, 2015, at the age of 80. Their passing ended the One Arm Dove Hunt.
Some of the citizens of Olney organized the Olney Amputee Dove Hunt to continue to provide an annual event for the amputees that have become a family and want to continue to meet each year and for those amputees that will become a part of this family.