EAST PRAIRIE, MO (MDC) - People who want to hunt but hesitate because of mobility impairments can put aside their reservations and pick up their shotguns. The Conservation Department and the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) are sponsoring a special event for disabled hunters on Sept. 3 at Ten Mile Pond Conservation Area in Mississippi County.
NWTF Regional Director Larry Neal said the event draws participants from all over the state. Typically scheduled on the first weekend of dove season, the hunt provides fast shooting for participants. Up to 30 hunters can participate. The area is reserved for their exclusive use in the morning-only hunt.
Local NWTF members serve as guides, helping hunters get to and from the field and retrieving downed birds. Guides, food and drinks are provided at no charge. The NWTF also provides steel shot shells, since non-toxic shot is required for hunting with shotguns at Ten Mile Pond CA. Participating hunters are enrolled as members in the NWTF's Wheelin' Sportsmen Program.
Mourning doves are speedy, sometimes erratic fliers, and this makes them challenging targets. As a result, hunters can go through lots of ammunition and take only a few birds. Neal said the hunt offers participants an excellent chance of taking home doves. "Success on fun has been 100 percent in the past."
Participants should plan to arrive at Ten Mile Pond CA headquarters before 6:30 a.m. and will need small-game and migratory-bird hunting permits and hunter education cards. For reservations, call Neal, 573-334-8881, or Tim Hendershott, 573-335-9350.
NWTF chapters sponsoring the event include the Bayou Strutters, the Bootheel Boss Gobblers, the Shaky Ground Gobblers and the Bollinger County Double Beards.