During the week of Ohio’s 2019 Deer Gun Season, Seneca Conservation District (SCD) and the Tiffin-Seneca County Izaak Walton League (Ike’s) co-hosted the Impaired Mobility Deer Hunt at Miller Farm. This year, we celebrated the 21st annual hunt. This hunt is designed to accommodate hunters who have limited mobility and provide an opportunity to take part in Ohio’s deer-gun season. The hunt has become a traditional labor of love for the Ike’s, but their efforts are not limited to the five days of deer gun season. They spend numerous hours at Miller Farm repairing and building deer blinds and planning for the hunt. Following breakfast, volunteers from the Ike’s then transport hunters to and from the deer blinds.

On Wednesday of deer gun week, I brought in sloppy joe sandwiches and brownies for the hunters to dine on. By that time, hunters at Miller Farm had already harvested two deer. I returned on Friday to the deer camp and assisted the Ike’s in transporting hunters to and from their selected stands and this afforded the opportunity to meet a couple of the hunters.

Herman hails from Curtice, Ohio and is a pastor at a local church in East Toledo. Friday was Herman’s second hunt at Miller Farm this week. On Wednesday, he hunted with his wife, Debritu, and had a doe approach his stand almost immediately after arriving. Unfortunately, the doe was too close and arrived too early and Herman couldn’t get off a shot. Herman explained that he has been taking part in the hunt for around 15 years. In those 15 years he has harvested only a doe and a six-point buck. Unfortunately, the buck wasn’t recovered.

Along with Herman was fellow hunter, Michael. Michael lives in nearby Bellevue and has hunted at Miller Farm since “the barn was still there”, which was around 2007. Michael has harvested four deer during his years at Miller Farm. Herman and Michael joked around like the old friends they are, having met one another during these deer hunts. According to the two, blinds were previously assigned on a first come-first served policy so one year Herman would get the prized orchard blind and the next year Michael would. Both hunters agreed that it turned into a real competition to see who would arrive first to claim the blind. Through the years both hunters have sat in each of the four blinds at Miller Farm.

About a half-dozen Ike’s were in the dining area, serving the cold and hungry hunters hot vegetable soup provided by PF. The hunters were disappointed to hear that yesterday’s lunch, also provided by PF, consisted of roasted quail. After filling their stomachs with soup and cornbread and their pockets with homemade cookies and other snacks, the hunters headed back to their deer stands with hopes of a chance at bagging the big buck.