Assistance for Disabled Hunters

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The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has signed an agreement with the Wheelin' Sportsmen of the National Wild Turkey Federation to cooperate in providing enhanced recreation opportunities for people with disabilities in Illinois, IDNR Director Brent Manning announced today.

The agreement will provide for hunting, fishing, recreational shooting and other hands-on outdoor activities as part of at least two Wheelin' Sportsmen NWTF events each year in Illinois.

"This agreement is a natural extension of our Disabled Outdoor Opportunities Program, which already features approximately 50 events each year for sportsmen, women and children," Manning said. "It is consistent with our goal to open doors and remove obstacles to make sure all Illinoisans have the opportunity to enjoy our state's natural resources, and specifically our state sites, whether hunting, fishing, hiking, camping or bird watching."

At each Wheelin' Sportsmen event, people with disabilities will be able to learn in an environment that is supportive, safe and accessible.

"There's definitely an advantage for us to team up to host these events," Manning said. "The NWTF already has widespread support for their training programs and we have an award-winning program, as well as experienced technical support staff. Together we can better serve a greater number of outdoor enthusiasts with disabilities."

For more information about the Wheelin' Sportsmen, contact Lynn Parrish, NWTF, at 803/637-3106, e-mail at lparrish@nwtf.net.

For more information about the IDNR's Disabled Outdoor Opportunities Program and its full slate of events, contact Jay Williams, Disabled Outdoor Opportunities Program, IDNR, 503 East Main Street, Benton, IL 62812, e-mail at jwilliams1@dnrmail.state.il.us, phone 618/439-9111.