Gun deer hunt for hunters with disabilities marks 30th year

Thanks to the generosity of landowners, hundreds of people are taking part in the annual hunt
Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 3:03 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Thanks to generous landowners, hundreds of people are taking part in Wisconsin’s annual gun deer hunt for hunters with disabilities.

The nine-day hunt started Saturday and runs through next Sunday.

On 70,000 acres of land across 40 counties, hunters with disabilities are in the midst of their annual gun deer hunt.

“These properties are enrolled by very generous landowners who open up their property to hunters with disabilities across the state and give them the opportunity to get out and hunt when it’s warmer, it’s easier access for them, there’s no snow on the ground, they’re really able to get out and enjoy the tradition of Wisconsin deer hunting,” says Ally Magnin, DNR Assistant Deer and Elk Specialist.

To make the hunt possible, the DNR partners with clubs and organizations around the state, who volunteer their time to ensure the best experience possible.

Challenge the Outdoors sponsored a hunt over the weekend in Shawano County.

“These sponsor organizations often provide mentors, or folks to go out with the hunters, help them navigate to their deer stand, often times they’ll set up accessible deer blinds that they’re able to wheel a wheelchair into, able to really get out there and have a really great hunt,” says Magnin.

First started 30 years ago, more than 400 hunters are now able to take part in the hunt.

With interest higher than ever, the need for more land continues to grow.

“We’re trying to do quite a bit of outreach to get more folks involved and get more sponsors out there to enroll their land to sponsor hunters on their property, so we’re actually looking for more folks in Northeast Wisconsin to be a part of it,” explains Magnin.

After spending some time with hunters over the weekend, Magnin says there’s a great sense of appreciation.

“In talking to the disabled hunters themselves, they really value the community that comes along with this hunt, they’re getting together with other hunters that have similar backgrounds to them and they’re able to get out there and just enjoy the fall weather and enjoy Wisconsin deer hunting,” says Magnin.

A minimum of 60 acres is required to host a hunt, and landowners can partner with neighbors to achieve that.

Through October 9, the Wisconsin DNR holds a special gun-deer hunt