Disability Accommodations in Hunting
The federation has partnered with an outreach program known as Wheelin' Sportsmen to give people with disabilities a chance to hunt.
Each year, there are 500 events across the country, serving about 50,000 disabled hunters and anglers each year, said Dee Dee Garvin, the South Carolina-based regional Wheelin' Sportsmen coordinator.
"The largest minority group of people in the United States is disabled people (numbering more than 50 million in the country)," Garvin said. "These people deserve a chance just like you and I do, except they just need a little help. And this program puts them at a forefront of what we do."
Recently, the Pisgah, Nantahala and Smoky Mountain chapters of the federation came together to purchase a $9,000 wheelchair-accessible tree stand, Piver said.
"We use it religiously during deer season and turkey season," he said. "And we do a lot of work with youth. We want to let them experience the outdoors."
Keeping with the strides of the Americans with Disability Act, North Carolina has one of the more progressive programs in the United States for sportsmen with disabilities, according to the N.C. Wildlife Commission.
The state has issued 11,500 licenses to people with disabilities, said Lisa Hocutt, manager of customer support services for the commission. The special hunting/fishing licenses are issued for a lifetime.
The effort includes assisting with access to favorable game and fish areas, allowing the use of equipment designed to overcome specific disabilities, and encouraging people with disabilities to hunt and fish.