Thursday, August 15, 2013

Disabled Hunt

I am preparing now for Whitetail Management Associates of Greater Pittsburgh's annual disabled archery hunt coming up in September. I started hunting with this group in 2010 and they are the reason I am back in archery. Prior to 1999 I was a passionate bow Hunter to say the least. That all changed with my spinal cord injury which paralyzed me from the chest down.

In February of 1999 I broke my neck in a diving accident and spent five months in the hospital and Rehabilitation Center, having several surgeries. I never thought I would be able to archery hunt again and it took me almost 10 years to get strong enough mentally and physically to try again.

I contacted Whitetail management and explained my situation. Joe and Ryan were more than willing to take me out hunting and understood my limitations hunting from a power wheelchair, using adapted equipment and hunting in a ground blind.

That first morning as my brother John and I sat in the ground blind I was both excited and scared. I had spent months preparing and practicing with adapted equipment and a crossbow in order to get back into archery hunting. It would not take long before a doe would arrive and give me the opportunity I was dreaming about for years.

I had a broadside shot at 23 yards and took it. The bolt found its mark and the doe quickly went down, I was back hunting again! Whitetail Management Associate's provided me the opportunity to hunt again and have been with me every year since.

I have harvested two doe and one very nice eight point buck hunting with them.  I have made several friends in the organization and shared wonderful experiences in the ground blind with some fantastic people. Thank you Whitetail Management for all you do for individuals with disabilities. I think of your group not only as excellent sportsman and hunters, but great friends as well.

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