Grounded No More: Disabled Hunters Get a Lift

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North Carolina’s disabled hunters will get a shot at deer from an elevated stand, thanks to Paralyzed Veterans of America, which is donating a mobile, hydraulic hunting blind to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

The hunting blind — a “huntmaster classic” built by New Heights, Inc. — elevates disabled hunters up to 20 feet. The trailer-mounted, hydraulic blind accommodates up to two people and features a cover to protect users from inclement weather. Paralyzed Veterans of America donated the $12,000 hunting blind to the Wildlife Commission at the Dec. 1 commissioners’ meeting in Raleigh.

“This is the ultimate lift. There’s really nothing like it out there,” said retired Marine Lt. Col. Lew Deal, director of outdoor sports programs and development for Paralyzed Veterans of America. “This also helps with safety because the hunters will be 20 feet up, and their shots will be fired toward the ground.”

The gray-green color of the hydraulic blind makes it suitable not only for hunting, but wildlife viewing and photography also.

“How many disabled hunters or wildlife watchers and photographers thought they would ever get out in the woods 20 feet off the forest floor?” Deal said. “Wait ‘til you see their smiles.”

The Wildlife Commission’s Disabled Sportsmen’s Committee will coordinate use of the blind, according to Susie Fish, who chairs the committee.

After Wildlife Commission staff receives training on how to operate the hydraulic blind safely, the blind will be available to the public at events for the disabled, Fish said.

“This blind will be based at our warehouse in Raleigh,” Fish said, “but we’d like to have one stationed at each game land depot, so any disabled hunter on Wildlife Commission game land could have access to one of these hydraulic blinds. I’m trying to find funding to make this happen.”

For more information or to reserve the blind, contact Fish at (919) 733-3391 ext. 225.