Blind Hunter Shoots Deer

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With help from buddies and special technology, Jerry Ingram got his first deer since going blind 26 years ago.

Brett Morrison, of Chatsworth, was hoping to simply put a little meat in the freezer on Saturday, Nov. 4 on his hunting club in Warren County. Brett wasn’t the only hunter on the club looking for venison. His buddy, Robbie, was in the stand with Jerry Ingram, of Johnson City, Tenn.

Jerry, 52, has been blind for 26 years due to a condition called RP (retinitis pigmentosa). The condition certainly doesn’t discourage Jerry from hunting deer.

“Jerry comes to our hunting property in Warren County occasionally with Robbie,” said Brett. “Robbie sits behind Jerry in the stand. Jerry uses an EOTech holographic sight, which enables him to hold his 45-70 rifle while Robbie gives him instructions on how to manipulate the rifle to get on the deer. Robbie does not touch the rifle in any way.”

Brett was sitting in the stand hoping to punch a tag, all the while hoping Robbie’s rifle would send an echo of gun fire through the woods.

“I was hunting a large clearcut in a ladder stand we call ‘The Road Stand,’” said Brett. “At around 8:20, I heard a deer blowing that sounded no more than 50 yards from me. I could not locate it, so I blew my grunt call a few times. The deer blew again a couple of times and seemed to be in the same place.”

Ten minutes later, Brett heard a coyote howl from the same area the deer had been blowing from.

“Before the howl was finished, I heard a shot from the direction of where Jerry and Robbie were hunting,” said Brett. “In just a few minutes, I received a picture message of a very obviously proud Jerry, posing with his harvest, a spike. I was beaming with pride just from being a marginal player in what was my proudest moment hunting. It was Jerry’s first buck since going blind when he was 26 years old. I was so excited I could barely stay in the stand.”

Just a few minutes later as Brett tried to hang in there before going to celebrate with Jerry and Robbie, a cow-horn spike walked up the road toward the stand.

“I started to leave him alone but noticed that he seemed larger than a yearling, and we wanted meat, so I shot him,” said Brett. “When I got him back to camp, Jerry was very excited about his buck but also very excited about mine. He felt of my buck’s haunches and antlers and commented on how he felt like mine was older and larger.

“Jerry was just as excited that I killed a deer as he was about his own. He is a very enthusiastic hunter, who doesn’t let his handicap rule his life. Jerry works a full-time job and lives alone.”

The camp butcher, Big Al, skinned and deboned both deer. Interestingly enough, Jerry’s deer was No. 300 he had skinned in his long career of camp processing.

“Big Al was very proud to have Jerry’s buck as the 300th he had skinned and processed,” said Brett. “I don’t know whose smile was biggest that day, but there were four proud hunters in that makeshift camp Nov. 4. I was still smiling when I woke up the next day.”

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