Hunting tower after sunset in rural scenery against pink sky.

This Annual Hunt Champions Accessibility for Hunters with Disabilities

Hunters with Disabilities Overcome Challenges and Bring Communities Together

Hunting can be a physically demanding sport. When weather and terrain are rough, this is especially true. For those with physical limitations, the prospect of enjoying a hunt can feel out of reach. Still, hunters with disabilities make it happen. It’s possible with effort, determination, and help from friends and organizations who are dedicated to making the sport more accessible to everyone.

One program that is putting hunters with disabilities first is “The Annual Wheelin’ Sportsmen” event for people who live with disabilities. This organized deer and hog hunt takes place over two days in national forests across East Texas. Employees from the Angelina and Sabine national forests join with retired agency volunteers to organize and staff the event.

The hunt is meticulously planned. Each participant has an assigned hunter blind. Because each hunter is unique, organizers must work together to make sure everyone has access to accommodations that work for their needs. 

Emily Penn, a participating hunter shared her positive experience at the Wheelin’ Sportsmen:

“The volunteers were all gracious with their time and expertise. They were always ready to help me. What an incredible experience I had… I will be back next year!” (source)

Emily, who uses a walker, was carried to her deer blind on her brother’s back. Once positioned, she was able to successfully down a 9-point buck. Thanks to help from her loved ones and event volunteers, Emily was able to join in on activity that is meaningful to her family. Events like this make it possible for more of our friends and family to experience the joy of hunting.

Veterans Organizations Help Heroes Reconnect with Hunting

Many hunters with disabilities grew up with the tradition but suffered injuries or conditions that limited their ability to enjoy the sport. A fair few of those hunters are individuals who suffered injuries while serving in the armed forces. There are organizations and events all over the country committed to helping these individuals get a valuable piece of their life back.

Buckmasters has assembled an extensive list of organizations that support hunting initiatives for our veterans with disabilities. Many of these groups operate thanks to donations and volunteer work. So consider volunteering your time to an organization like this in your area. Helping a hunter reconnect with a beloved pastime is a gift to everyone involved.

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