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Georgia DNR Expands Focus On Accessible Opportunities

Recent adaptive deer hunt featured Action Trackchairs that allow wheelchair users to get to hunting locations.

DNR Press Release | January 19, 2024

DNR’s adaptive hunt program was launched in 2021 when the agency received its first Action Trackchair, which are all-terrain wheelchairs that allow users to navigate a variety of terrains and obstacles.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) continues to expand its focus on developing accessible opportunities. On Jan. 9, 2024 the agency hosted its third adaptive hunt since the program launched in 2021. Five hunters along with their a hunting partners were paired with guides for the agency’s two-day Hunt and Learn experience on private property in Newton County.

The hunt, specifically designed for novice deer hunters with mobility impairments, is a priority initiative for Georgia DNR, reflecting the agency’s commitment to providing inclusive hunting, fishing, and outdoor opportunities for all Georgians.

DNR Commissioner Walter Rabon noted the importance of programs like this. “Making the outdoors more accessible for all Georgians has been a priority of mine since being appointed to serve as Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources,” Commissioner Rabon said. “Numerous barriers exist to getting involved in hunting and fishing, and even more so for those with mobility impairments. We’re proud of our adaptive hunt program which seeks to remove many of these hurdles, giving more people the ability to enjoy the great outdoors.”

Attendees received valuable informational tools to aid them in future hunts, and they enjoyed practice time at the rifle range, and took part in a deer hunt utilizing recent advancements in technology, including the Action Trackchair.

Chip Madren, a brain cancer survivor who works for Georgia DNR, demonstrates how he can use his Action Trackchair to stand.

Seventeen-year-old Max Richardson was surrounded by fellow hunters, including his father Mitch, who proudly watched his son fire a rifle alone for the first time using an adaptive trigger mechanism.

“What a wonderful event and opportunity for Adaptive hunters to be able to come together and share their abilities and challenges with hunting. Being able to fellowship with disabled hunters showed me new methods and hardware that can help me while in the field. I really hope this opens doors for more opportunities to hunt in the state of Georgia,” said Max.

DNR’s Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center launched the adaptive hunt program in 2021 following the receipt of the facility’s first Action Trackchair. This donation came as part of the All-Terrain Georgia (ATG) Initiative. These all-terrain wheelchairs feature rubber tracks and the ability to navigate a variety of obstacles. The utilization of these vehicles allows participants to better navigate the woods to a specialized hunting blind. Since 2021, DNR has provided 20 mobility impaired hunters, plus their hunting buddies, with opportunities to hunt as part of the adaptive hunt program.

During the recent DNR event, 17-year-old Max Richardson spent time on the rifle range and used an adaptive trigger mechanism to fire a rifle on his own for the first time.

 

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1 Comment

  1. BHuntzinger on January 20, 2024 at 11:12 am

    Hey, l want to connect with them about these off road wheelchairs I build that are affordable.

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