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Arkansas wildlife officers hold annual special disability deer hunt

From the Arkansas Game and fish Commission

-- In December, the Arkansas GFC Enforcement District A-2 held their annual special disability deer hunt on a private ranch in Franklin County. Nine disabled hunters participated in the two-day hunt. All nine of the hunters harvested a deer.

Hunters were paired with guides and treated with a breakfast and a short briefing on gun safety. Each hunter also was given a camouflage hunting coat, hand-held radio, knife and flashlight set, hat, special addition National Wild Turkey Federation numbered box turkey call and a bag full of goodies from the Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center.

The first deer was harvested early in the hunt by Tyler Stubblefield of Caulksville, and three more were bagged before lunch. Hunters who hadn’t already harvested a deer went back out for an afternoon hunt with four more deer being harvested that evening. One hunter, 10-year-old Heather Miller from Bigelow, didn’t harvest a deer the first day after her gun misfired. She was able to bag a deer the following morning.

The Arkansas Wildlife Officers Association and Crawford County Wild Turkey Federation donated money and prizes in support of this special hunt. The AWOA donated $500 and the Crawford County Wild Turkey Federation donated $100 and the special edition numbered NWTF box turkey call for every hunter. $150 of this money was given to a family for lodging and travel expenses. The remaining $450 was used to help pay for gifts for the hunters.

The ranch manager, his employees and volunteers donated and provided all the food for breakfast and lunch and also did all the cooking. AGFC Capt. Bill Howell and Perry County Wildlife Officer Cpl. Jeremy Bishop attended and assisted with the hunt along with AGFC Capt. Clyde Shepard, Sgt. Ben Sisk, his wife Kathy and daughter Gabby, Lt. Charlie Bonner and his wife Debbie.

U.S. Forest Service Biologists Keith and Rhea Whalen and their daughter Hannah also attended and helped with the hunt along with several other volunteers.

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