Brent Neeser was given another chance to hunt again recently thanks to the love of his father, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Capable Partners, a Minnesota non-profit organization dedicated to creating accessible outdoor opportunities for the physically challenged. Declared legally blind since his mid-20s, the 37-year-old Andover man participated in the first vision impaired deer hunt, Oct. 14-22, at the Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area near Cambridge. "It was a very emotional experience for me to see Brent, who once had sight, lose his sight, and then gain back some of his independence by doing something he enjoyed so much in the past," said his father, Dave Neeser of St. Cloud. State statute allows a hunter with sight to assist a visually impaired hunter with using a firearm to take a deer during a specially permitted hunt. Using a laser guided scope, the hunter with sight gives the direction of the deer and tells the visually impaired hunter when to pull the trigger. Brent, who works for the Veterans Administration, regularly hunted with his father from age 12 to his mid-20s when he began to slowly loose his sight from a retina disease. "The fall became a difficult time of the year for me because I could no longer hunt," Brent said. "I still went along with dad when he hunted, but it just wasn't the same." Dave sensed his son's loss and went about finding a way to get him afield again. He contacted the DNR, which directed him to Capable Partners. They went about setting up a special deer hunt for the physically impaired. Early on Oct.14, the Neeser's and19 other physically impaired hunters headed to the Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area. Capable Partners provided a hunter orientation session before the participants made their way to their deer stands. Father and son were hunting together again. "We sat in the stand with dad behind me to call out the direction of any deer crossing our path," a still excited Brent recounted. "I joke with dad that I can hear but can't see, while he can see but can't hear. He soon pointed out a deer 35-40 yards directly in front of us." Dave quickly scooted behind his son calling out the direction of the deer. Brent trained the laser bead from the gun's scope and pulled the trigger hitting the deer in the shoulder. The 6-point buck ran for a short distance. Brent was disappointed after an initial search in the area found nothing. "It was an emotional rollercoaster, a real downer when we couldn't find him," Brent said. But after another search, Dave found the buck. "I jumped in the air when he said he found him," Brent said. "I was on cloud nine, and I'm still on cloud nine thanks to my father, the DNR, Capable Partners and a very generous Pine River gunsmith who provided the 20-gauge shotgun and mounted the laser at cost." Neeser's deer was among the 19 harvested that day. The Neeser's hope the special hunt was a success for everyone who participated, whether they took a deer or not. Their hope is if it was, it would provide an opportunity for physically challenged hunters to participate in future regular firearm deer seasons, and other hunting seasons. "I lost so much when I lost my sight and could no longer hunt, especially losing that special bond between a father and son or daughter who hunt together," Brent said. "But being able to hunt again has been tremendous, improving my confidence in everything I do. It's great to have a second shot at hunting."