Special Deer Hunt for the Disabled
Approximately 30 outdoor enthusiasts with special disabilities will have the opportunity to hunt deer, participate in field activities and create lasting memories and friendships this fall during Ohio's first-ever "Wheelin' Sportsmen" event. The event, scheduled for Nov. 8-10 on AEP ReCreation lands in Morgan County, is a joint effort between the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), American Electric Power (AEP) and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
Men or women interested in participating in the program are encouraged to contact AEP's Dave Dingey at 740-962-1205 or Gary Kaster at 740-962-1200 as soon as possible. Interested applicants can also mail their name, address and phone number to "Wheelin' Sportsmen," American Electric Power, 59 West Main Street, McConnelsville, OH 43756. All names received will be submitted for a random drawing to be conducted in mid-August. Successful applicants will be contacted by August 20.
The NWTF-developed program is not limited to those individuals confined to wheelchairs. The event is open to applicants with any type of physically challenging disability. Each disabled hunter will be paired with an experienced guide who will offer whatever assistance may be needed in the field. Guides and hunters must have a valid Ohio hunting license and a special deer permit.
The special program is dedicated to providing all people with disabilities the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors.
Approximately 50 million individuals in the United States have some type of disability. Unfortunately, their opportunities to participate in outdoor activities are often limited. Each Wheelin' Sportsmen event is designed to promote education, good health, character, sportsmanship, recreation, self-esteem and disability awareness.
The Wheelin' Sportsmen NWTF program was created by a merger between the NWTF and the Alabama-based Wheelin' Sportsmen of America. The program strives to assist disabled persons interested in shooting, hunting, fishing, archery and other outdoor activities.
American Electric Power offers more than 30,000 acres of reclaimed land in southern Ohio, known as ReCreation Land, for public recreation at no charge. ReCreation Land offers the public access to more than 350 lakes and ponds and nearly 380 campsites, some equipped with bathrooms, drinking water, picnic shelters and other amenities. Since the program's beginning, more than 4 million people have visited the area for sightseeing, hunting, fishing, camping, hiking and horseback riding.
ODNR's Division of Wildlife manages more than 170,000 acres of public hunting and fishing lands, oversees the state's game and fish laws and provides hunter education throughout the state.