Disabled Hunters Can Also Enjoy The Outdoor Experience
Hunting has long been an Alabama tradition enjoyed by many, including those with physical disabilities. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) is fully committed to maximize the ability of citizens with disabilities to enjoy the natural resources of the state. Alabama is the only state in the nation to establish a network of hunting areas designed to accommodate individuals with physical disabilities.
For someone with a disability, hunting may be more challenging, but with some facility modifications, disabled hunters can be successful. The ADCNR, in cooperation with other state and federal agencies, conservation groups, corporations and private individuals, has developed 13 hunting sites specifically for disabled hunters. The sites are part of Alabama’s Hunting & Fishing Trail for People with Physical Disabilities. They allow hunters to share the tradition without the usual barriers and difficulties faced at traditional hunting sites.
To hunt at a designated site, the hunter must complete an application available from the Wildlife Section of the Department of Conservation and receive certification from a physician that he/she is physically disabled under the established medical guidelines. Hunting is by reservation only, so early reservations are recommended to ensure that each hunter obtains the site he/she wishes to hunt on a selected date.
Each participant must check in and out on the date reserved. All hunting is from specially designed shooting houses capable of sheltering two individuals. Participants on these hunts are encouraged to bring a non-hunting partner to assist with the activities. An individual may hunt on a given area only once every two weeks, but by visiting the various trail locations hunting multiple times each week is available.
The Trail also includes eight target ranges and 20 fishing lakes. No reservation is required for use of the target ranges or fishing lakes. All users of these facilities must be properly licensed and abide by regulations governing the shooting and fishing sites.
The hunting trail has already proven to be popular. Usage is expected to increase as more individuals learn of this opportunity.
For more information on Alabama’s Hunting & Fishing Trail for People with Physical Disabilities, visit the Department’s website at www.outdooralabama.com. To obtain an application for the Hunting Trail, contact the Wildlife Section, 64 North Union Street, Montgomery, AL, 36130 or call 334-242-3469.