SAVANNA — Brad Anderson of Savanna harvested an 11-point buck with a field-dressed weight of 169 points during the 16th annual Lost Mound deer hunt.
The hunt was reserved for hunters with physical challenges, including those with paraplegia, missing limbs and other disabilities.
It was held during the snow and howling winds of Nov. 12-13 at the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge near Savanna. It was scheduled to take place during the deer rutting season.
All told, there were 31 hunters and their attendants that harvested 15 deer of which five were does. They came from 11 states in addition to Illinois: Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Indiana, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
The refuge is a partner with the not-for-profit Ultimate Experience Outdoors, which sponsored an Alabama veteran with a disability.
Seth Nelson from Morrison is owner of Down Deer Recovery, who along with his German shepherd Maverick assisted in recovering wounded deer.
This special hunt is conducted in areas closed to public access at the site of the former Savanna Army Depot. More than 1,000 youth and adult hunters have participated since 2007.
“It is a unique hunting experience by an extraordinary group of hunters,” said ranger Jacquelynn Albrecht. She cited the hunters’ enthusiasm and determination. “They provided both inspiration and encouragement to the refuge staff that administered the hunt.”
The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge was established in 1924 and contains 240,000 acres that extends along 261 miles of the Upper Mississippi River. It is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.