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Disabled sportsmen get chance to hunt for deer in South Fayette

| Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015, 2:07 p.m.

Individuals with disabilities may participate in a special hunt in South Fayette this week.

The 14th annual Disabled Sportsman's Deer Hunt is scheduled in South Fayette's active hunting property at Boy's Home Park. The hunt provides an opportunity for people who otherwise are required to hunt from a stationary vehicle, township public-works director Butch Truitt said.

“It's a challenging event to participate in with the limitations from wheelchairs,” he said.

That's where volunteers come into play. The hunt requires volunteers to wheel the hunters around the property, as well as running deer toward them. They also would help transport a deer if a hunter makes a successful harvest.

Wildlife conservation officer Tom Kline supports the concept of the event.

“I'm happy to see South Fayette utilizing this special antlerless season to help out their community members,” he said. “It's harder for them to get there without help.”

The “special antlerless season” for firearm hunting is open only to junior and senior license holders, disabled person's permit holders and Pennsylvania residents who are on active military duty with an antlerless license.

Kline will attend at least one of the days of the hunt to represent the Pennsylvania Game Commission. He will be available to answer questions.

Over the years, the event averages eight to 12 hunters and 40 to 50 volunteers, officials said.

The weekend won't be about harvesting deer but rather the fellowship and experience for all who are involved, Truitt said.

“It's a feel-good thing the whole way around for everybody. It's people helping people,” he said.

Participation is free; however, hunters must have a disabled person's permit from the Pennsylvania Game Commission and a valid antlerless deer tag for WMZ 2B.

Hunters do not need to be residents of South Fayette to participate.

Hunting takes place on Thursday through Saturday. Volunteers are asked to show up at between 6 and 6:30 a.m.

Participants also should register before to the event.

To sign up as a hunter or a volunteer, send an email to Paula Simmons, recreation director, at psimmons@sftwp.com or call 412-221-8700, ext. 17.

Samson X Horne is a contributing writer to Trib Total Media. He can be reached at samson.x.horne@gmail.com.

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