Bill Maher once got in hot water for saying it was wrong Ted Nugent invited hunters with disabilities to go hunting on his massive property in Michigan. He said if they couldn’t pull the trigger, it wasn’t any of their business killing an animal. Okay, whatever Bill Maher (he had to do a lot of backtracking after that remark). Uggg… ignorant celebrities.
You know, disabled hunting has been a huge adapted activity for people with SCI for decades. Since I’m from Minnesota (where even wolf hunting is now legal), disabled hunting was one of the first activities people tried to get me involved in after my injury. And the fact that I was a woman – even better (“Woman in wheelchair shoots deer on season opener weekend. Makes front page news!”).
While the fear of blood always kept me away at the end of the day, here are some rough ’n tumble people with spinal cord injuries who love hunting. Hey, deer opener was last weekend! I can smell my Mom’s venison stew cooking already.
In this video of Chris Clasby, a C4 quad, he made a compilation video of his 2010 hunting season hunting with a rifle using the Sip ’n Puff system (Christopher Reeve and other high quads use this to control their wheelchairs). Sip’n Puff rifles have been around for quite some time.
In his video, watch him shoot from a canopied area (where he gets quite a few shots) and then rolls out into the field to get closer to a herd of elk. He hunts on his own property and boy is it beautiful. At the end of the video, he shoots antelope and deer. I think what I love most though is how his hunting companions are right with him, pushing him over the rugged landscape as they do their thing.
The second video shows what I think is the best thing to buy for any paraplegic that likes to hunt – the “Renegade.” This way awesome manual wheelchair that moves via a lever system (for each hand) and is just the thing if you want to go off the pavement in a manual chair. But even cooler, Renegade also makes a hunting blind to hide you as you hang out and wait for deer (or whatever else) to come your way.
In the video, watch a low quad crossbow hunt his first time in 12 years, as he gets out on an estate for-hire (to take care of an overpopulation problem they’re having with deer). He gets a doe, and then unbelievably drags it back to his truck by hooking it up to his chair.
And this last video is perfect for any high quad interesting in shooting, but maybe not in expressed killing. Good old fashioned shooting is the activity this video shows using Sip ‘n Puff controls. Watch Randy Haims, a C2 quad and actor in Hollywood, shoot using a 9mm pistol, with an actuator from a ‘57 Chevy.
I must admit, the community involved in disabled hunting is pretty great. If you’ve ever been curious, call up your local sportsmen office. You’ll be surprised at how warmly they’ll welcome your interest.
Have you participated in disabled hunting? What equipment is a must?
Watch the videos!