18th Annual PDR Deer Hunt brings joy to youth with disabilities

Published: Sep. 23, 2023 at 7:59 PM CDT
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CLARK, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Early Saturday morning, the 18th annual PDR Hunt kicked off in Clark County. The day provides youth with disabilities the opportunity to go on a deer hunt, work on target shooting and much more.

Andrew Haiar was born with spina bifida, a condition that limits his mobility, but he won’t let that stop him from hunting. This is his fifth year making the trip from his hometown of Mitchell to the PDR Hunt. On the range the youth have fun shooting at targets, some teddy bears and pumpkins loaded with Tannerite. However, Haiar has also found success in the deer stand. In his five years, he has been a perfect shot, tagging a deer each trip. Success isn’t the only thing that keeps him coming back.

“Just the enjoyment and I wouldn’t have any other opportunity to do this kind of thing and this is the only place I can do that,” Haiar said.

Opportunity was the vision that Dean Rasmussen had years ago. The idea for the hunt came after Rasmussen helped a friend’s son on a hunt.

“We took him on a hunt and he got his deer and when we saw the excitement and gratification that he got, I mean, it was like a different kid,” Rasmussen explained. “We knew we wanted to do something. It took me a couple of years to get it through my head what we wanted to do.”

Opportunity for youth living with disabilities is huge because, for some, they’re often told what they can’t do. Sometimes, they just need to give it a shot.

“What we really want to do is show these kids that they can do it,” said Rasmussen. “A lot of them don’t think they can, their parents don’t think they can and all we want is an opportunity to show them.”

What started out as a group of three kids in 2008 has grown and continues to give kids the experiences they desire in 2023.

“It’s pretty neat and everyone who has a disability should know about this,” said Haiar. “Everyone’s friendly here.”

“Everybody’s good to us and everybody wants to help,” Rasmussen said. “That’s awesome for the kids because that’s what it’s all about.”

Preparations are already being made for the hunt in 2024. If you want to learn more about sponsoring, volunteering or if you know a child who might want to participate, visit https://pdryouthhunt.com/.