Lions Club gears up for annual Physically Challenged Deer Hunt

Published 7:30 am Friday, January 7, 2022

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The Andalusia Lions Club is loading up for its sixth annual Physically Challenged Deer Hunt event.

The hunts provide a unique opportunity to those who may not get to enjoy outdoor sports very often. Fifteen or more men, women, and youth with a variety of physical disabilities will come to Andalusia for the weekend of hunting and camaraderie.

The event will be held Jan. 14-16 and kicks off on Friday afternoon at the South Alabama Gun Club shooting range.  Participants meet their personal guide volunteers to practice, go over safety rules, and familiarize each other as to what assistance they need during the weekend.

Participants in the Lions Club hunting event will spend three days learning and actively hunting for deer.

Some of the hunters are blind, confined to a wheelchair, or do not have all four limbs. Several are disabled veterans who deal with spinal injuries, brain trauma, joint issues, and PTSD.

The City of Andalusia opens the Will Coleman Recreational Center for the group to meet and eat. Alabama Conservation Officers attend the Friday pulled pork dinner to answer any game law questions.

After dinner, those needing licenses go to Walmart where the Lions will purchase those licenses. The Lions also provide hotel accommodations for out-of-town participants and their guests.

After a predawn breakfast at the Coleman Center on Saturday and Sunday, the hunters and their guides go into the woods with their guides.  There are over 14 landowners around the county who open their prime accessible properties to the hunters. Any harvested deer will be processed for them to take home.

On Saturday night there is a big wild game dinner where the Lions Club honors everyone who contributed to the event. Most of the food is donated and each of the hunters will receive a gift bag.  There is also a raffle for some donated items and door prizes to be given away.

Businesses that contribute to the deer hunt are Power South, Southeast Alabama Gas District, South Alabama Contracting, David’s Catfish, Andalusia Distributing Company, Covington Community Ban, Advance America, and ARS Iron Works.