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27
Pheasant shoot planned for disabled hunters

BY RANDY MILLER
rmiller@thehawkeye.com

An outdoor promotions group is seeking a dozen disabled people in southeast Iowa who are looking for an experience in the great outdoors, in this case pheasant hunting.

Al Smith of Cantril, regional coordinator for Wheelin' Sportsmen, an outreach program of the National Wild Turkey Federation, said a pheasant shoot is planned Oct. 16 at Faeth's Fowl Play Hunting Preserve in rural Fort Madison.

The first 12 disabled people to apply and be selected will be paired with a non–disabled person for a guided pheasant hunt that day. Any disability is permissible, from blindness to quadriplegia, he said.

Participants must pay a $25 registration fee and pay for their lodging and transportation to the event. They must also purchase an Iowa hunting license and habitat stamp, or if less expensive, the preserve license and habitat fee.

Family members are welcome to accompany the participants and lunch will be provided.

The outing is sponsored by Wheelin' Sportsmen and several Fort Madison, Burlington and Keokuk businesses.

Smith conducts similar deer, turkey and bird hunts, as well as bird watching, fishing and boating, trap shooting, archery and outdoor photography programs throughout the 10–state Midwest region.

He recalls an Easter weekend turkey hunt in Kansas involving a wheelchair–bound quadriplegic man.

"We planned to set him up in a blind across a small, dry creek bed. But as luck would have it, it rained really hard that weekend and filled the creek up.

"Well, the water was running about three feet deep, but three of our guys took each side and lifted all 300 pounds of him and his chair over the water to the other side — and he got himself a turkey.

"On the way back, he was so happy, he said, 'I don't care if you guys drop me in the creek, but you'd better not get that bird wet.' That's what this is all about. I could tell you stories like that all day."

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