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Sixth Annual Disabled Access Deer Hunt Held at Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Midwest Region, October 4, 2012
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Allan Goeden with big buck he took at Rice Lake NWR during the 2012 disabled access deer hunt.
Allan Goeden with big buck he took at Rice Lake NWR during the 2012 disabled access deer hunt. - Photo Credit: Walt Ford, FWS
Danielle Ince in her deer hunt stand at Rice Lake NWR, Oct. 7, 2012
Danielle Ince in her deer hunt stand at Rice Lake NWR, Oct. 7, 2012 - Photo Credit: Walt Ford, FWS
Danielle Ince with the doe she harvested at Rice Lake NWR, Oct. 7, 2012.
Danielle Ince with the doe she harvested at Rice Lake NWR, Oct. 7, 2012. - Photo Credit: Walt Ford, FWS
Andy Streeter eating supper with his dad after coming in from his deer stand.
Andy Streeter eating supper with his dad after coming in from his deer stand. - Photo Credit: Walt Ford, FWS
Dale Floodman with a spike buck taken at Rice Lake NWR, Oct. 7, 2012.
Dale Floodman with a spike buck taken at Rice Lake NWR, Oct. 7, 2012. - Photo Credit: Walt Ford, FWS

October 4 through 7, 2012 Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge held its sixth annual deer hunt by persons with disabilities. Opening day for this much anticipated hunt proved to be challenging due to sustained winds of 25 mph with gusts of 35 mph and temperatures dropping into the forties. It was hard to believe that only the day before it was a balmy mid-seventy degree day that seemed more like Summer than Fall. Participation was down slightly from last year, probably due to the weather, but eleven hunters participated in spite of the weather and one of them was glad that he did as he shot a big doe for his efforts.

 

On Friday, the wind wasn't blowing quite as hard but the temperature had dropped even further, providing an occasional snow flurry. Also on Friday we gained another hunter, 15 year old Danielle Ince, Aitkin, Minn. Danielle is not only our youngest hunter to date but the only female to participate. When asked at the end of the day if she seen anything, her reply was two deer, one raccoon, one porcupine, and several trumpeter swans that were "really loud when they flew over!" Danielle's Dad, Mike Ince, said that one was so close when it flew over that he almost could've touched it if he had only reached an arm up. While Danielle didn't get a deer that day, it is clear to see that she had a great time!

Allan Goeden, Grand Rapids, Minn., also had a great day in spite of the weather. Allan shot the biggest buck he has ever taken in 25 years as a disabled hunter. The deer weighed 200 lbs. and had a 10 point rack, a trophy for any deer hunter!

Saturday was almost a perfect day for deer hunting; sunshine, nearly 50 degrees, and very little wind. Apparently the deer had other ideas, fewer deer were seen and none harvested.

On Sunday, the final day of the hunt, the wind was blowing once again, thankfully not as fierce as it was on opening day. As it turned out, a lucky day for two of the hunters, one of them being Danielle Ince. Danielle shot a large doe with the assistance of a family friend as Mike Ince had to travel out of state for his job. Danielle was quick to text her Dad and a couple other family members to let them know she got one and in no time she was receiving congratulations from other family and friends. And before the evening was over her Mom, Grandma, and a little brother arrived to see the deer for themselves. Her Mom said Danielle likes nothing better than deer hunting...maybe next year she can instruct her male counterparts on how to be better deer hunters!

The final tally for the hunt was 13 hunters participating and four deer harvested. However, this hunt was only made possible due to the dedicated volunteers that assist the hunters getting to and from their stands as well as the numerous organizations and businesses that donated money or materials. Darlene Turnock, President of the Friends of Rice Lake Refuge, said that “it is exciting to see so many members of the community coming together for such a worthy and fun endeavor!” It certainly is a fun event; it’s impossible to say who is having more fun, the hunters or the volunteers!


Contact Info: Walt Ford, 218-768-2402, walt_ford@fws.gov
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