It won’t be easy as a wheelchair won’t be able to get around some places when tracking your prey. But, it is doable. In fact, disabled people have been hunting successfully since the 1980’s and things have vastly improved since then.
Though there have been advances in wheelchair accessibility for travel, many don’t put a forest in that same category. However, there are options.
In this article, I will go over several of the ways you can get out on a hunt even if you are disabled.
Hunting is inherently safe and accidents are rare. That being said, it is safe because hunters are very focused on their safety and the safety of others. Being disabled will add another layer of complexity to staying safe, so make sure you take a hunting class to understand the safety rules.
You’ll need to take some classes on firearm safety and your state may even require it.
Firearm safety is an obvious concern, but there are other smaller items that should be on your list. Keep all your dangerous objects secured in case of a fall. For instance, many hunters bring along a long knife, such as a kukri blade to dress their kill. You’ll need to make sure that your knife is secure in a scabbard and can’t do any damage if you fall.
There are many props for people who are not able to hold a rifle well due to their disability. You can either improvise your own, or find one at a hunting outfitter. A gun rest is easy to find and will help you keep your rifle steady for safety and for an accurate shot. There are some available that can be used even if you can only fire using your chin or arm if you can’t squeeze a trigger with your hands.
You’ll need to do some training before you head out on the hunt, so check your local area for NRA sponsored adaptive shooting lessons and to find out exactly what type of gear is going to be best for your disability.
There are even wheelchairs available that can be rented or bought that are like a 4 x 4, all terrain vehicle that can get you through many obstacles on a trail. Getting through wet areas thick with mud, or narrow trails with lots of brush can be a challenge in a regular wheelchair, so an adapted one is your best bet.
Every state requires some form of hunting license and some will even require a special license if you are handicapped. For instance, Florida has a Persons With Disabilities Resident Hunting and Fishing Permit that you’ll need to have if you plan to hunt. Every state will have different requirements, so make sure that you talk to your state’s fish and game department.