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23 Years of Success: ShiawasseeNational Wildlife RefugeNon-Ambulatory Deer Hunt
Midwest Region, November 18, 2013
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First successful hunter during this year's non-ambulatory hunt at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge.
First successful hunter during this year's non-ambulatory hunt at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge. - Photo Credit: Lionel D. Grant/USFWS
A healthy harvest.
A healthy harvest. - Photo Credit: Lionel D. Grant/USFWS
Returning volunteers gathered at 6am as they used the time to catch-up.
Returning volunteers gathered at 6am as they used the time to catch-up. - Photo Credit: Lionel D. Grant/USFWS
Vicky Kennedy helps Refuge Manager Steve Kahl to a Plate.
Vicky Kennedy helps Refuge Manager Steve Kahl to a Plate. - Photo Credit: Lionel D. Grant/USFWS
The second group of hunters are pictured eating lunch on the final day of the non-ambulatory hunt.
The second group of hunters are pictured eating lunch on the final day of the non-ambulatory hunt. - Photo Credit: Lionel D. Grant/USFWS
Steve MacAlpine and Tom Amy Work on Plan of Action.
Steve MacAlpine and Tom Amy Work on Plan of Action. - Photo Credit: Lionel D. Grant/USFWS

November 15, 2013 not only marked the beginning of shotgun season, but its significance holds value to a 23 year tradition at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge. Only a few minutes after 5:00 a.m., the first of 36 non-ambulatory hunters arrived. As hunters began to gather there were many that were anxious to find what this year’s harvest would bring. 

A crisp yet gentle breeze could be felt that morning and to some it uplifted many doubts of concerns over the deer herd. Fall of 2012 left reservations in many after the presence of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) that occurred across large portions of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. It was believed that EHD attributed to a lower harvest and success rate for the Shiawassee Refuge 2012 deer season.

Upon arrival hunters were greeted by volunteers that were eager and ready to help. One of the beautiful things about the Non-Ambulatory (NA) Hunt is that it has remained volunteer driven throughout its 23 years. This year was not any different, with both new and returning volunteers that helped to promote the positive atmosphere. Volunteers organized everything from the acquisition, assembly, and placement of the blinds for the program. Combined, volunteers contribute more than 800 hours to this program in this year alone. These tireless efforts allow NA hunters to keep their sights on hunting deer at Shiawassee Refuge.

Volunteers also took initiative in finding sponsorship. This year’s sponsors included Ameristep Inc., Cabela’s Inc., The Coca-Cola Company and Jay’s Sporting Goods Inc. The hunt catered to two hunt groups (18 hunters in each) over the course of four days (Nov. 15th-18th). Each day at Noon hunters and volunteers were served a complimentary lunch. Ideal conditions aided in the harvest of 13 deer by the close of the second day (Saturday). Sunday afternoon’s hunt was cancelled due to the weather. Two more deer where harvested by Monday’s close.

This program provides a service while encouraging non-ambulatory hunters as they transition into hunting outside of the program. After 23 years of success, we are most grateful for the efforts contributed by the volunteers at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge.


Contact Info: Lionel Grant, 989-759-1669, lionel_grant@fws.gov



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