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Special hunt conducted at Lake Arklabutla

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 ARKABUTLA LAKE, Ms., (KNOE 8 News) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' (Corps) Arkabutla Lake hosted its 22nd annual physically challenged hunt this week. In September of this year, 64 disabled hunters had been chosen by a random drawing.

These hunts bolster support for the wildlife management practices in place and are an integral part of the plan for the area. They provide a unique opportunity to a very special group of participants coming from all over the southeastern United States.

The hunters were staged in foliage-covered plywood box stands within the 1000-acre natural area below Arkabutla Lake Dam. Some blinds are built specifically for hunters to drive 4-wheeled all terrain vehicles (ATV's) into the stand, which enables the hunter to hunt without dismounting from the seat of the ATV.

Christie Hill-Smith, president of the Mid South Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America, was one of the lucky hunters to participate in the hunt; she bagged a huge eight point buck. She used her lucky grunt tube to call the buck into her stand and took him with one well placed shot.

Sponsors for this year's event were Arkabutla Lake Physically Challenged Hunt Association and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Local citizens and businesses also donated time and food for the event.

The Corps' public lands offer an array of safe recreational opportunities that include fishing, boating, camping, hiking, bicycling, swimming, and photography. The four Corps lakes in northern Mississippi draw approximately 5.5 million visitors per year; support 1,500 jobs; and contribute more than $130 million in regional tourism.

To be considered for future hunts, a packet can be obtained from the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Arkabutla Lake Field Office. For more information, contact Mike Carter or Ernie Lentz at 662-562-6261, or find us on Facebook.

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