Fort Custer to Host Freedom Hunt for Disabled Hunters

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Fort Custer to Host Freedom Hunt for Disabled HuntersLansing, Mich.–The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and the Fort Custer Training Center in coordination with the Department of Natural Resources will host the second annual Freedom Hunt for disabled individuals Oct. 18 – 19 at Fort Custer, Augusta, Mich. This special deer hunt is held in conjunction with the state-wide early firearm deer hunt for disabled individuals.

The event begins Friday, October 17 at 6 p.m. with a catered banquet featuring door prizes and guest speakers. Media members are welcome to attend, take photographs and conduct interviews. Hunting begins early Saturday morning. Hunters may stay overnight at Fort Custer both Friday and Saturday nights.

All meals, lodging and deer processing are free of charge thanks to generous sponsors such as The National Wild Turkey Federation, Whitetails Unlimited, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Gander Mountain, Eastman Outdoors and the Fort Custer Deer Hunt Group Leaders. Deer processing is compliments of Skip’s Deer Processing of Battle Creek for any deer tagged during the early hunt.

This year’s Freedom Hunt has been expanded to allow more hunters, 35 this year compared to approximately 20 last year, to cover a large portion of the historic Fort Custer property. Volunteers are teamed with each hunter to assist them throughout the weekend in whatever needs arise. In 2007, five large deer were harvested. All hunters who participated in 2007 reported having seen deer. A 950-acre site has been carefully selected to maximize hunting opportunities and will be equipped with wheelchair accessible blinds and heaters.

Applicants selected to take part in this event are required to be in possession of a current year Michigan deer hunting license; be a veteran with a 100% disability or deemed individually unemployable by the USVA or considered Legally Blind by the State of Michigan, or possess a valid DNR certificate showing they are eligible to hunt from a standing vehicle due to a permanent disability. Application deadline was October 1, 2008. For more information about the application process contact Jonathan Edgerly at the Fort Custer environmental office, 269-731-6570