November 21, 2017

Media Advisory – Special Touch of Nature Hunts

Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center is providing several hunting opportunities for special population groups in coming weeks. Reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to cover the archery hunts for people with disabilities and the Veteran Adventures program archery pheasant and deer hunts for veterans. 

Touch of Nature’s 3,100 acres will be the site for two November archery hunts that are open to people with disabilities. The first hunt is Nov. 24-26 and co-sponsors are the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Chapter of Safari Club. 

The second hunt is an archery turkey and deer hunt and it will take place Nov. 27-29. Co-sponsors are the National Wild Turkey Federation and Illinois Wheelin Sportsmen. 

The annual programs provide an opportunity for hunters with differing disabilities to hunt and enjoy camaraderie with one another. All participants will have current hunting permits and licenses and adhere to federal and state guidelines. 

Members of the media will find opportunities for engaging interviews, photos and video by visiting between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on the second or third day of each hunt. To schedule a visit, contact Vicki Lang-Mendenhall at 618/453-1121 or

In addition, Touch of Nature Environmental Center’s Veteran Adventures is sponsoring two hunting adventures, one on-site and one off- on consecutive December weekends. The hunts are for current service members and veterans as well as members of the National Guard/Reserves and the ROTC. Both hunts, which are provided to veterans at no cost thanks to fundraising efforts by Touch of Nature and Veteran Adventures, are fully booked. 

The second annual controlled pheasant hunt is set for Dec. 2 at the Wayne Fitzgerrell State Recreation Area near Whittington. Hunters can harvest two pheasants and local sportsmen will provide dogs to assist with the hunt. A shuttle, departing at 6 a.m., will provide transportation from Touch of Nature to Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park. To arrange a media visit, contact Erik Oberg at 618/453-1121 or by email at prior to the hunt date. 

The hunting action then reverts to Touch of Nature for the fourth annual Veteran Adventures Deer Camp, set for Dec. 8-10. The weekend features guest speakers discussing hunting, trapping, wildlife management, field dressing and butchering, food preparation and other relevant topics. The veterans will also have plenty of time for hunting and enjoying each other’s company. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is teaming with SIU’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center and Veterans Services in sponsoring the archery hunt weekend. 

The best time for media to visit the camp to secure interviews, photos and video is between 5 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9. At that time, participants will be returning to the camp from their hunts and participating in a primitive deer processing demonstration in the area near Freeberg Dining Hall at Camp 2. For safety reasons, Touch of Nature will be closed to the public during the deer camp so media should call 618/453-1121 or email Erik Oberg at no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 8, to schedule a visit on Saturday or at another time during the camp. 

Touch of Nature Environmental Center is located about eight miles south of Carbondale on Giant City Road. For more information about the experiential environmental learning facility and the numerous programs and facilities it offers, visit the website at or call 618/453-1121.