Drake Taylor’s love of the great outdoors shined throughout his life. Drake always demonstrated a great interest in outdoor activities. At age 16 Drake enthusiastically started his hunting exploits. By age 18 Drake had hunted black bear, whitetail deer, turkey, alligator, Texas dall ram, wild hog, and buffalo carp all with his TenPoint Crossbow.
Drake lived life with a passion and was involved in many activities including Dunlap Eagles Special Olympics, Best Buddies of Dunlap High School, Peoria County 4-H, Central IL Riding Therapy (CIRT) and Little People of America (LPA). He was “the voice of PODS (People Outdoors Doing Something)” for the company Huntin’ Is Good. Drake had also been an honorary guest hunter on numerous TV hunting shows.
Drake was the creator and inspiration behind Little D Designs a unique line of handcrafted beaded jewelry and keepsakes. He was also an aspiring painter, whose works were sold at Exhibit A Gallery in Peoria, IL and retail shows throughout the Midwest.
One of Drake’s many passions was to “help kids” and their families. To keep Drake’s legacy alive his friends and family started Big Hearts Outdoors, an organization created to pass on the blessings of outdoor adventures to other special needs children and young adults.
“Do your best, have fun, and hang around good people.” ® ~Drake Taylor
Big Hearts Outdoors hosts and supports many outdoor events and activities that get special needs children and their families in the woods and on the water. Activities can include; Special Needs Day Camp Events, Camping Weekends, Fishing, Boating, Archery Lessons and Horseback Riding. Hunting trips can be coordinated with experienced hunting guides.
We have worked with many groups including; Physically Challenged Bowhunters of America, Heart of Illinois Whitetails Unlimited, Art Helin Outdoors, Camp Big Sky, “PUP” – People with Unlimited Potential, Angel Arms, Blue Ridge Community Farm, and the Salvation Army Campgrounds.
All special needs children and young adults should have access to outdoor adventures.
Special needs children and young adults benefit mentally and physically from outdoor activities.
Families are strengthened and everyone involved with these adventures benefit through the experience.