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Photo by Layna Hendrich of PhotographyLayn

Monday, November 30, 2015

Adaptive Hunting Equipment

With Christmas right around the corner, I wanted to give you some ideas for the hunter in your life that is living with a disability. At times, it may feel like the obstacles to getting outdoors pile up around you, but adaptive equipment like the following items can push through those barriers and open up adventures you never dreamed possible. These are a few of my favorite things- so let's go shopping!

I love seeing the look on people's faces when I tell them Wyoming Disabled Hunters has a hunt specifically for hunters that are either blind or have visual impairments.  I always get the same question- "You take blind people hunting?" We do! And thanks to amazing adaptive equipment like the Nite Site Viper, we have a very high harvest rate year after year.

What the Viper does is take the scope of a rifle or bow and enlarge it on a screen mounted above the scope. This allows the hunter's spotter to see what would be visualized through the scope and assist the hunter with his or her aim. Through communication decided upon prior to the hunt, the spotter can tell the hunter how to adjust their firearm and when to fire. It sounds complicated, but with the Nite Site Viper, the hunter has a much higher chance of harvesting an animal. And you can hook up your camera to the unit and record what is happening through the scope- how cool is that? Here is the Nite Site model we use:


I love my crossbow.  Although it's not strongly marketed towards hunters with disabilities, it really should be! I have trouble pulling back the string on a normal crossbow, and the Concorde allows me to be completely independent with the push of a button. This is the only automatic cocking crossbow on the market- pushing a button on the butt of the stock pulls back the string in about 2 seconds. Thanks to a quiet CO2 canister powered mechanism, this crossbow makes archery hunting fun and accessible for the hunter with a disability. Here is a picture from my mule deer hunt in 2012- successful harvest thanks to my Parker!


The only negative thing about my crossbow is that with a full CO2 canister, it is quite heavy. Which is why this next gift idea is so essential- the Bog Pod Tripod. This model is heavy duty but lightweight, and the best part is the spread and adjustability of the legs. You can shrink things down to use with a rifle or crossbow when you are prone on the ground, or stretch things out to fit over the top of a power wheelchair. It is difficult to find tripods that will give you the kind of specific setup you need to adapt in the field, and the Bog Pod does just that. Here it is on this year's antelope hunt:


I have several pieces of equipment to mention on this one, because Be Adaptive makes so many amazing adaptive hunting products! Let's start with their shooting mounts. These mechanisms allow a hunter to position their rifle, pistol, or bow if they have difficulty holding it. With the equipment mounted to their wheelchair or shooting seat, it opens up hunting to people who may have thought it wasn't possible. How great is that?

Be adaptive also makes several different products to help with pulling the trigger. Whether you need a suction or bite trigger, and an adapted finger control or wrist support, Be Adaptive has you covered! They also produce products for adapted fishing, so check them out!
I am ending this Christmas shopping list with my favorite hunting product- the Action Track Chair! This all terrain wheelchair works great with all of the above mentioned products, and it can do so much more! If you are looking for the ultimate adaptive equipment to enjoy the outdoors, this is it. This chair can get you safely into places you never dreamed possible, and it's so much fun to drive!

I use my Action Track Chair for much more than hunting- skeet shooting, fly fishing, hiking, camping, the possibilities are endless! Its standing feature is what truly sets it apart from other all terrain wheelchairs, and I know that it will change the way you explore the outdoors.


Like any specialty equipment, some of these items are quite expensive. If you are interested in grants and other ways to receive financial assistance for adapted hunting equipment, check out these pages:

Happy hunting- and shopping!

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