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Sask. man overcomes adversity to pursue his love of hunting

Darrell Arndt discusses his love of hunting, his success stories and how he continues to pursue the sport:
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Darrell Arndt got this elk in 2019 north of Arcola and it scored a 300.

ARCOLA - Darrell Arndt has hunted for a long time, and it is usually wild game that fills his freezer.

Arndt was raised with his seven siblings on a family farm south of Arcola by his father Richard and his stepmother Carol.

He attended and graduated from Arcola School.

He works for Crescent Point Energy as the yard supervisor east of Stoughton, and has remained in the area, living in Arcola.

When he was 18 years old, Arndt began to hunt and took down his first white-tail deer.

To hunt in Saskatchewan, a licence is required and if one receives the draw, a draw licence is required for that as well. According to Arndt, 100,000 hunters apply for the draw each year, to be eligible to hunt moose, elk, mule deer or antelope, and it usually takes four-plus years to get this draw. Each year, if a person's name is not drawn, it goes into the advanced pool for the next year.

Arndt continued to be an avid hunter, although his life would change and so would his hunting style. Twenty-three years ago, Arndt was in a single-vehicle crash that left him paralyzed, but it did not stop him from enjoying the sport that he grew to love.

Arndt hunts from his truck, which requires a permit, and the hot and cold temperatures bother him, so his time outside is limited. It is also difficult for him to maneuver his wheelchair in the wild. He always hunts with a friend, as it would not be possible for him to do this on his own.

Hunting for him is a way to fill his freezer and he usually only has wild game in it.

“The different things one sees outdoors is also a big draw,” he said. “These things can not be enjoyed staying indoors.”

His hunting takes him throughout the southeast corner of Saskatchewan, but while he was hunting north of Forget he landed a white-tail deer that scored just over 200 in 1999.

When Arndt receives a draw, he tends to go west, near Shaunavon and Eastend, but once again his big game would be snagged north of Arcola: an elk in 2019 with a 300 score.

After the hunt, there is always a social element. They make sausage and share their hunting stories from the year.

“It is a big part of the experience,” said Arndt.

Each year he attends the Arcola Big Buck Night, which he says is an experience in itself.

If Arndt has a chance, he also hunts upland game birds, but only when he has time.

He has no interest in hunting bear, but one day plans to go on a wild boar hunt.

For 18 years, a group of friends go north in the summer to go fishing, and in the winter they enjoy a warm ice shack to ice fish.

Arndt feels hunting is a great sport that requires patience and persistence. It is not just about the hunt, but about the friends that he has that help him along the way.