This deer was photographed last June on Rice Lake Refuge.

Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge, in collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Options Resource Center for Independent Living and the Friends of Rice Lake Refuge, announce that applications for the 13th annual deer hunt for people with disabilities are ready to be released. The dates of the hunt will be Oct. 10-13. This hunt will be open for buck or doe.

Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge is located five miles south of McGregor on Hwy. 65. McGregor is located approximately mid-way between Brainerd and Duluth. The refuge (18,000 acres), offers hunters varied terrain from which to hunt. The habitat is a mix of upland deciduous forest, tamarack and black spruce bog, to lowland hardwood forest. The maximum number of hunters who can participate is fifteen.

Hunters are responsible for travel to and from the refuge, sleeping accommodations, purchasing their license and providing for their personal needs such as warm clothes, guns, ammo, attendants, etc. Hunt organizers will assist hunters with getting from the refuge headquarters to and from their hunting site, providing volunteers to assist with the handling of the animal after it is shot (if requested), and meals. Meals will consist of a noon meal prior to hunting and an evening meal once the hunter has come back from hunting. Deer hunting will only be allowed between the hours of noon and one-half hour after sunset. If more applications are received than spots available, applicants will be selected based on severity of disability and hunting experience as a person with a disability. If all is equal, a random drawing will take place.

Anyone interested in applying for this year’s hunt should contact Walt Ford, Refuge Manager, for a hunting application by sending an email to or by calling 218-768-2402 ext. 100. Applications must be postmarked by Sept. 7, 2019.

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