Hunting With Physical Disabilities
"I know if I ever became physically impaired, I'd still want the ability to do what I want to do, and high on that list is hunting," says Josh Mackay, hunter education coordinator for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. "There's no reason it can't be a safe and enjoyable activity."
A great resource for disabled hunters and anglers is Don Christensen's A Far Cry -- visit www.afarcry.info
Roughly 700 people with physically disabilities hunt each year in New Hampshire. That's a growing number, reflecting a trend that more and more people are realizing their physical disabilities shouldn't keep them from enjoying the great outdoors. Indeed, they can and should take full advantage of New Hampshire's tremendous natural resources.
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department offers several permits for people with physical disabilities. Among them:
- Permits are available for a permanent hunting and fishing license for paraplegics.
There's a one-time $10 administrative fee for the license, and the
applicant must present a letter from his or her doctor stating that
the applicant is permanently and totally paraplegic.
- Disabled veterans may also be eligible for a
hunting and fishing license. Like the license for paraplegics, disabled
veterans must meet certain criteria and present documentation of
a permanent disability from the Veterans Services Office.
- Fish and Game offers permits for people
with disabilities who want to hunt using a crossbow. To qualify,
you must have a permanent physical disability that prevents you
from using a conventional bow or a compound bow.
- Fish and Game also offers permits for paraplegics who want to hunt from a motor vehicle.
Disability hunting permit applicants must have taken a hunter education course. New Hampshire Fish and Game's Hunter Education Program customizes its courses for people with special needs so they can enjoy the outdoors safely. Contact the N.H. Hunter Education program at 603-271-3411 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on hunting and fishing permits for those with disabilities, contact the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's Business/Licensing Division at 603-271-3422 or email: Licensing@wildlife.nh.gov.
To reach the National Rifle Association's Disabled Shooting Services, go to www.nrahq.org/compete/disabled.asp