Lost Mound Deer Hunt for the Disabled

The 2015 disabled hunter deer hunt at the Lost Mound Unit (former Savanna Army Depot) of the Savanna District of the Upper Mississippi River Fish and Wildlife Refuge was another success, attracting 76 hunters from 14 states.

The eighth special, two-day hunt was held on the 13,000-acre facility. Quadriplegics, paraplegics, amputees, and other physically challenged hunters, harvested 24 deer, including 13 does and 11 bucks. The largest buck, an 11-pointer that field dressed at 174 pounds, was taken by Tim Anderson, of Savanna.

Hunter Michael Trost, from Maryville, Tenn., stated that he saw more deer in the field in two days of hunting at Lost Mound than he has seen his entire lifetime of hunting deer. The rut at the time was in full swing, with both bucks and does on the move.

Lost Mound Unit Site Manager Anderson was excited about the continued success of this program.

“It is a unique hunting experience by a special group of sportsmen. Their daily challenges of life were overshadowed by the enthusiasm and determination for deer hunting. They provided both inspiration and encouragement to the staff and volunteers that administered the hunt.”

Hunters are required to use non-lead ammunition for this hunt and the special youth deer hunt at Lost Mound. The non-lead regulation went into effect after research showed bald eagles have been exposed to lead—probably from bullet fragments in gut piles. Hundreds of bald eagles congregate at Lost Mound and are routinely observed circling and searching for their next meal. Looking for a lead exposure source, researchers previously collected deer gut piles that are typically discarded in the field by successful hunters. X-rays showed that lead ammunition fragments were present in these waste parts. Motion-sensor cameras documented that bald eagles scavenged on discarded gut piles and fatally wounded, but not recovered deer.

A few years ago, at the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, Minn., I also earned that a lead fragment the size of a #8 shot (about 1/16 inch in diameter) ingested by an eagle can cause lead poisoning and be fatal to an adult eagle.