Staff at Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge hosted the annual managed deer hunt for outdoorsmen who are mobility-impaired this month.

Nikki Horne, visitor services specialist, said nine hunters harvested four deer, including three bucks and one doe.

She said each buck harvested was an 8-pointer.

The hunters used a muzzleloader only during the two-day hunt on the refuge.

The event in Holt County was designed for hunters who are mobility-impaired and was held on Nov. 7 and 8.

Horne said each hunter was issued two harvest tags for the managed hunt.

The tags allow the hunter to shoot two antlerless deer or no more than one buck. Missouri antler restrictions apply and a buck must have at least four points on one side.

Participants applied for the hunt in July and were selected by a random draw. They were notified if they were selected by early August. Resident and non-resident hunters can apply and attend.

She said each hunter is required to bring one person to assist in the field.

Each name was drawn from a hat and participants selected from one of the 10 ground blinds set up in designated areas of the refuge.

After the orientation, hunters and their attendants had time to find their blind locations and prepare for their Saturday morning hunt.Student volunteers from the Missouri Western State University and Northwest Missouri State University student chapters of The Wildlife Society were available to assist hunters after the harvest.

During the event, a wheelchair-accessible deer hunting blind was offered to each hunter who traveled in the field.

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 species on the refuge.

For an online list of managed deer hunts in the state, visit huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/species/deer/deer-managed-hunts. Application forms for this hunt are available in July online at www.fws.gov/refuge/loess_bluffs/.

Margaret Slayton can be reached at margaret.slayton@newspressnow.com.