I have a form of Muscular Dystrophy. I have trouble walking and standing for any length of time. Hunting is not easy for me anymore. So on Monday October 17, I was excited to have the opportunity to participate in a disabled deer hunt at muddy run park. I was told there were eighteen individuals who were drawn. These individuals all had mobility issues and all had a permit to use a vehicle as a blind from the Pa game commission. I arrived at six am and after signing in I was assigned a helper and we were transported via UTV to a hunting location. It was starting to get light as I set up my shooting sticks and got situated. It was sure exciting to spend a morning in October in the woods.
We were sitting for about a half hour when we heard something behind us. We could not see anything each time we looked. Then without warning we heard a loud snort, we were busted. My helper said he saw a tail disappear away from us before I could get turned around. I was not too upset it was still early. Shortly thereafter my Helper said that there was a doe standing in front of us on a trail. I could not see her due to the angle I was sitting at. When I tried to move she ran. Strike two… I was beginning to see a pattern forming here. I was still enjoying the sound of shots being fired by others and wondering if they were successful. This is almost as exciting as hearing yourself shoot. Deep down you wish it was you.
At approximately 7:50 am I thought I saw something move in the weeds about seventy –five yards in front of me. I strained my eyes to make it out and there she was, a medium size doe looking right at me. I slowly lined up the shooting sticks and my muzzleloader. I placed the red dot on her chest and slowly pulled the trigger. At the shot there was smoke everywhere and I saw the deer spin sideways and backward. I knew she was hit. My heart was beating so fast. My helper walked down and yelled back that she was dead where she stood. I approached my prize with a smile on my face. I had a great feeling of accomplishment. Excited does not come close to describing how I felt. After many pictures and phone calls, my helper helped to field dress the doe. I made my way home feeling very happy.
This hunt could not have been successful had it not been for the hard work and dedication of all the individuals involved. I am so thankful for the opportunity that these individuals have provided. Through their hard work it was possible for me and others with disabilities to feel like hunters and to be successful at what we love.