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Deer hunts sponsors for people with disabilities

Sponsors and landowners interested in hosting a gun deer hunt for hunters with disabilities have until June 1 to submit their application. New in 2013, an online application form will replace the previous paper application that had to be mailed in.

“The new online application will streamline the application process for both the hunt sponsors and DNR staff and allow disabled hunters to see which properties are enrolled in the hunt sooner than in previous years,” said Scott Roepke, assistant big game ecologist for the Department of Natural Resources.

The new online application can be found by going to dnr.wi.gov and searching keyword “disabled deer hunt.” The application will contain the same information as in the past; however, it will now be in an easier format for sponsors to submit. If sponsors do not have access to the online application, hard copies will be available.

The Gun Deer Hunt for Hunters with Disabilities Program first began in 1990 to provide an opportunity to hunt deer while mild temperatures persist and mobility is relatively unhampered. These hunts are sponsored by private individuals or organizations and almost entirely take place on privately-owned lands.

In 2012, 93 sponsors worked with landowners to make nearly 75,000 acres of land open to hunters with disabilities. These sponsors and landowners provided opportunities for more than 450 hunters to get out in the field and enjoy the woods. This year’s gun hunt for hunters with disabilities will occur Oct. 5-13.

Hunters interested in participating in the hunt can find a list of sponsors on the DNR website after June 1. Hunters are encouraged to contact sponsors as soon as possible so that the sponsors can begin to plan for the hunt. Sponsors are required to submit a list of participating hunters no later than Sept. 1. The list of participating hunters can also be submitted online, similar to the sponsor application.

“We would like to thank all of the hunt sponsors, landowners, and volunteers for their dedication to this great event. Without them, this hunt would not be possible,” Roepke said.