Staff at Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge hosted the 10th annual deer hunt for outdoorsmen who are mobility-impaired this month.
Seven hunters harvested three deer, including a 10-point buck, using a muzzleloader during the two-day hunt on the refuge.
Hunters from across the state attended and bagged a total of one buck and two does.
The event in Holt County was designed for hunters who are mobility-impaired and was held on Nov. 2 and Nov. 3.
Tyler Rohr from St. Joseph has attended the event each year. This month, he hunted with his father, Doug, and friend Jim Isgrigg.
Last year, he harvested a 10-point buck and a doe the first morning of the hunt.
He said the group looks forward to the hunt each fall.
“I enjoy hunting and going hunting with my dad,” Rohr said. “We came with my neighbor Jim, and we always have a good time up here. The people treat us great and they have great volunteers that come up each year and help out. It’s a fun trip even if you don’t shoot a deer.”
Sam Edwards from Wheatland, Missouri, and his brother Matt from the Kansas City area, attended the hunt for the first time this year. He bagged a 10-point buck and a doe the first morning of the hunt.
Both are longtime hunters and shot the deer from a ground blind.
“I was really impressed with the hunt,” Sam Edwards said. “The deer was the third buck we saw. We were covered in deer from the start of the hunt.”
He said they enjoyed the camaraderie of the hunt and hope to travel back to the refuge next year.
Refuge staff, volunteers and students from the Missouri Western State University Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society organized the hunt. During the event, a wheelchair-accessible deer hunting blind was offered to each hunter who traveled in the field.
Meals were provided free of charge to hunters during the weekend.
The hunt for sportsmen with disabilities was implemented at the refuge to diminish habitat damage that can be caused by a growing deer population and to prevent motor vehicle collisions with deer along nearby roadways.
Staff from the refuge decided to use hunting as a management tool while offering select sportsmen a unique opportunity to take home a deer. It is otherwise illegal to hunt any species on the refuge.