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Deer Hunting Season Opens for Hunters with Disabilities

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September 15, 2011

DES MOINES, Iowa - Before anyone else can hunt deer in Iowa, hunters with disabilities will get a chance starting Saturday.

The timing of the special two-week hunting season is designed to coincide with better weather, says state deer biologist Tom Litchfield.

"A season at this time is a much better time for those people to get out on their own, or for someone to go out with them as far as getting around on the landscape."

Hunters with disabilities have a 37 percent hunting success rate, Litchfield says, almost the same as hunters during the regular deer hunting season. A special hunting license is needed, he says, and depending on the disability, some are allowed to shoot from a vehicle - or perhaps only need help in recovering the game.

"(It) can range from an individual who needs quite a bit of assistance as far as getting around, handling the equipment (and) retrieving the deer, to individuals who are in need of less assistance."

Unlike the regular hunting season, he says, hunters with disabilities can use whatever weapon they like, from bow and arrow to shotgun to muzzle-loader. Last year, more than 200 special hunting licenses were issued.

The special hunting season runs through Oct. 1.

Dick Layman, Public News Service - IA