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Experience
the outdoors with adaptive kayaks, beach wheelchairs, accessible cabins, and sit skis.
Explore
accessible boat access and shore fishing sites.
Access
DNR properties with a permitted power-driven mobility device.
Contact information
For questions about accessing recreation opportunities contact:
Nick Zouski
DNR accessibility coordinator
608-267-7490

Open the Outdoors2011 disabled hunt in Clark County

Imagine being blind or having a stroke and paralyzed on one side. Maybe confined to a wheelchair for the rest of your life or having a severe lung condition, making it hard to walk more than 50 feet. Yet, with the desire to go deer hunting but are unable to due to your current health conditions. What can you do, who can you turn to, where would you go?

thumbnail: Daryl Halopka of Abbotsford thumbnail: Derek Heath of Loyal thumbnail: Dick Fischer of Merrillan thumbnail: Don Parker of Eau Claire thumbnail: Kristi Urban from Neillsville thumbnail: Richard Emerson of Loyal thumbnail: Tom Garbisch from Granton with daughter Issebelle thumbnail: Tony Hendrickson of Elk Mound thumbnail: Rita Halverson of Whitehall

Thanks to a devoted group of landowners and neighbors in and around the Clark County, Wisconsin area, 66 disadvantaged hunters were fortunate enough to experience the camaraderie and atmosphere of a "deer camp" during the week of Oct. 1–9, 2011.

These special hunters had handicaps of all ranges and abilities yet were able to the harvest 56 deer on private lands enrolled in a special program created by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. With 13,300 acres of private land enrolled by 99 generous landowners, these hunters were taken to predetermined spots and accompanied by a dedicated guide who would assist them in whatever manner needed. These guides would prepare a spot, construct a blind if needed, make sure the hunter is comfortable and set up any special equipment needed for shooting. Then the guides help spot deer and reposition the hunter if needed for an advantageous and ethical shot. These devoted guides would then track the deer, retrieve it and prepare the deer for transportation back to camp.

Back at Dale North Mound Tavern, the "hunt headquarters," another group of volunteers prepare meals for the hunters while others skin and quarter the deer to allow easy transportation home of the hunters successful kill. Each of these hunters are special and unique in their own way, and for most, harvesting a deer is a momentous occasion. Unknowingly for some, this may be the last deer hunt of their life.

The true heroes of this event are the unselfish landowners who enroll their land and the many guides and helpers who volunteer their time and devote their efforts to helping these hunters. The majority of these landowners and volunteers have been involved through most of the 13 years of this event. Their relentless dedication should be admired and applauded. Especially in this era of individualized and personal hunting grounds, it's almost unheard of to allow a total stranger to deer hunt on your property. Yet 99 area landowners have done just that. For nine days in October these gracious landowners opened their private lands to allow 66 disabled hunters the opportunity to be part of something outdoors.

For the many guides and volunteers who assist the hunters out in the field and back at camp, it's a heartwarming and charitable experience. To most of them, it's an annual event and a time to rearrange work schedules and personal hunting hours in order to devote time in assisting these disabled hunters achieve something they may not be able to do otherwise. If you know any of these volunteers, landowners and guides, pat them on the back and thank them for their dedication to helping someone in need. For they, are true heroes!

Rock Creek Disabled Outdoors, Inc. (a 501(c)(3) corporation), was established in 2004 to enable the many supporters of this hunt a tax deductible contribution. Thanks to the generous support of these many companies, organizations and friends, "after-the-hunt" banquets are held on both Saturday nights of the week long season. Stories and tales of this day and past hunts fill the room as new hunting buddies became better acquainted with family and friends. The Loyal Lions donated the use of two huge tents that came in very handy during the Saturday banquets, allowing much needed extra room for the overflow of the ever increasing turnout of landowners, hunters and supporters of this event. Everyone enjoyed a relaxing evening of drinks, a buffet meal and story telling.

To learn more or to become involved with the Clark County "Hunt for Hunters with Disabilities", contact Rock Creek Disabled Outdoors [exit DNR] in Willard at 715-937-5109 or info@sunsetpinesresort.com.

Last revised: Thursday May 01 2014