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Heartland Outdoors

Kids and Adults with disabilities deer hunting program

Fri, July 21, 2017

Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge has announced the 2017 applications for the special deer hunt at Lost Mound are available.

Two managed deer hunts, one for youth (ages 10 to 17) and one for adults with disabilities (18 and older), are conducted within designated Closed Areas of Lost Mound. All hunters must be accompanied by an adult able-bodied attendant that is capable of tracking and retrieving a deer.

Having participated as a volunteer in these hunts in the past, I can attest to the fun the kids have as well as the adults. In the past, hunters have come from as far as Louisiana to be a part of this program.  In a typical year, participating hunters are from 12 to 14 different states. This is truly a national event.

The application period extends from July 1 to 31 and is open to residents and non-residents. All applications will be entered in a random drawing for the 35 hunt sites on Aug. 2 at 10 a.m., which will be held at the Refuge Office in Thomson. The drawing is open to the public and applicants do not have to be present.

All hunters, attendants and any accompanying individuals must attend one mandatory safety orientation with two sessions being available: Saturday Sept. 30, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to be held at Manny’s Pizza in Savanna; and Friday, Nov. 10, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m at Manny’s Pizza, followed by a visit to the hunt area.

The youth hunt will be held on October 7-8 and coincides with the Illinois Youth Either Sex Deer Hunt. A Jo Daviess County Deer Permit must be obtained and brought to the orientation. All youth must show certification of completion of a state-approved hunter safety course.

The hunt for adults with disabilities will be held on November 11-12, which is the Saturday-Sunday prior to the Illinois Firearms Deer First Season. A minimum P2a Illinois disability classification (or similar disability certification from non-resident states) is required.  Wheelchair-bound and amputee hunters will receive priority selection for hunt sites. A Jo Daviess County Deer Permit is not needed to apply for this hunt, as this permit is provided by the Refuge.

Application and regulations can be downloaded from the following website, fws.gov/refuge/upper_mississippi_river or picked up at the Refuge office located at 7071 Road, Thomson IL. For further questions please contact the Refuge office at 815-273-2732.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has also announced the drawing for Potter’s Marsh waterfowl hunting sites, Saturday, July 29, at Manny’s Pizza. Applications will be accepted from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with the drawing to be held at 1 p.m. A $10 application fee is required.  You must apply in person and must be present at the drawing. When your ticket is drawn in the lottery, you will select your choice from the 49 available sites. A $100 non-refundable fee is charged for each applicant that receives a hunt site.

Applicants are required to show the following information: photo identification, 2017 Hunting or Sportsman’s License, 2017 Federal waterfowl stamp, 2017 state duck stamp and a Firearm Owners Identification Card (Illinois residents only). Residents under 21 do not need the FOID but must be accompanied by an adult (21 or older) who has a valid card. Non-residents can provide a current year license and state stamp from their resident state. Applicants must be a minimum 16 years old. For additional information and copies of the regulations, call the Refuge office.

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