Rend Lake Disabled Hunt in 35th year - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Rend Lake Disabled Hunt in 35th year

REND LAKE, IL (KFVS) -

Dozens of high school students are spending the weekend in the blind helping disabled hunters kick off deer season.

“Learn to serve your fellow man, learn to get out and help others and make some new friends and do some good things.” Explained co-organizer Brandon Dilliner

“Certain people get hurt and say oh, my life’s never going to be the same again.” Explained Sesser Valier High School Student Lexi Hacker “We like helping these people that it can be the same and we’re just treating them like normal people and it doesn’t matter.”

Mike Reeves lost his ability to walk after an ATV accident years ago, and has been coming to the event for the for the past decade.

“It’s just doing everything I used to do. There isn’t a change” Reeves explained, “you don’t even feel like you’re in a wheelchair when you’re going back out tin the woods, and getting back on the blind”

Teams of students meet at 3 a.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and each team is assigned a hunter.

“A lot of them, they look forward to this all year long” Dilliner explained.

“I have a lot of respect for [Reeves]” Explained Buckner, “he comes out here and he’ll stay out here until lunch and if he doesn’t get anything, he’ll come right back out and  he’ll stay until it’s dark or until whenever he can stop.”

 “I am an alumni, I graduated in ’93” Dilliner recalled, “and knowing what I took from it and the bond that I had with my hunter, for those four years, and to be able to share those stories with the kids, and share what I took from it, and to hopefully enlighten them and open their eyes to something they might miss otherwise, that they can experience too.”

The 35th annual event’s last full day of hunting is on Sunday.

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