It turned out to be a scaled-down version of a long-time Texas tradition due to COVID-19 precautions, but hunters headed home mighty happy after a memory-filled day and meat for the freezer.
Sponsored by the Burleson County Wildlife Association (BCWA), the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation supplied about $2,000 in grant funding for the 30th annual Challenged Hunter Deer Hunt. It took place December 4-5, 2020, at the Lake Somerville Hunt Area in Burleson County, between College Station and Austin in southeast Texas. In a normal year, the hunt included 30 wheelchair-bound hunters but health concerns and restrictions limited participation to 11.
“This year the weather was good for hunting and 13 does were harvested,” said Connie Smotek of the BCWA. “A good time was had by everyone!”
The hunt originated as a partnership between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, BCWA, Somerville Lions Club and Texas Parks and Wildlife to manage deer herd numbers in the area around the lake. The hunt allows wheelchair-bond hunters with a valid Texas hunting license to participate in hunting activities that would otherwise be unavailable to them.
RMEF funds helped cover the cost of hunt items, targets for sighting in, ramp repair for one hunting blind and lunch for participants.
(Photo source: Burleson County Wildlife Association)