Contact(s): Maggie Stewart, DNR assistant big game ecologist, 608-261-7588
MADISON - Both landowners and hunters with disabilities are reminded to consider enrollment in the Gun Deer Hunt for Hunters with Disabilities Program, which helps provide opportunities for everyone to enjoy hunting in Wisconsin.
Time spent pursuing white-tailed deer is difficult or unrealistic for some, as sitting in a hunting stand or blind is a privilege that is often taken for granted. This program gives disabled hunters an opportunity to hunt deer while mild temperatures persist and mobility is relatively unhampered.
With only six properties enrolled in the first hunt in 1990, the program has grown considerably over the years as private landowners and organizations have discovered this great opportunity to volunteer their time and land. In 2016, more than 70 landowners in 48 counties enrolled roughly 79,000 acres of hunting land to provide opportunities for over 400 participants to take part in the gun deer hunt for hunters with disabilities.
"The Gun Deer Hunt for Hunters with Disabilities is an amazing opportunity that allows people to hunt deer that otherwise may not have been able," said Maggie Stewart, Department of Natural Resources assistant big game ecologist. "This program has continued to grow since its start in 1990 because of the generosity of landowners - we are grateful for all of the sponsors and volunteers who help make it happen."
Interested landowners are encouraged to enroll their property for the 2017 hunt by June 1. Potential sponsors need at least 60 acres of land and must be willing, if contacted, to allow access to at least three hunters with disabilities. The 2017 disabled deer hunt will take place Oct. 7-15.
A complete list of sponsors will be available on the department's disabled deer hunt website after the June 1 deadline. Sponsors are then required to submit a list of participants online or by mail no later than Sept. 1.
To learn more about the program or complete an online application, visit dnr.wi.gov, search keywords "disabled deer hunt" and find the section titled "information for sponsors." Interested landowners can also request a physical copy of the application by contacting Maggie Stewart, DNR assistant big game ecologist, at 608-261-7588 or via email at Margaret.Stewart@Wisconsin.gov.