Hunting is no longer a sport that excludes the disabled. This detailed guide to adaptive hunting equipment will help you understand the best tools that you can use to continue with your passion even after a disability.
Hunting is a popular activity in the USA, and there is no reason why someone with a disability can not enjoy their favorite activity. Adaptive hunting equipment is meant to lend a supportive hand to disabled people if they don’t want to give up their passion for hunting.
With the growing popularity of hunting among people, several DIYers and manufacturers have come up with adaptive hunting equipment in recent years.
There are about 400 national wildlife refuges, 20 national fish hatcheries, and 35 wetland management districts where hunting is permitted in the USA. However, in order to hunt legally, one needs to possess a valid hunting license provided by the state government.
Not just that, in order to hunt on a national wildlife refuge, you sometimes need to pay extra and possess specific permits too. For people with disabilities, there are special rules for acquiring a hunter’s license.
Government Support For Disabled Hunting/Fishing
The government understands that the passion for hunting is not dependent on the physical disability of a person. All of the states offer hunting licenses to people with disabilities.
Some states like Texas even go as far as to organize special hunting trips for a few selected disabled hunters. While it is difficult to organize such events, as people have varying disabilities, the organizers do their best to make accessible hunting sites for disabled hunters.
There are certain limitations to what a hunter with disabilities can access and possess. A blind person can not keep a firearm even if they have undertaken the firearm safety program and hunter education program.
License requirements for adaptive hunting/fishing
It is mandatory for a person, whether disabled or not, to possess a hunting license in order to hunt during the hunting season. All of the states in the USA offer hunting licenses.
While the general criteria for obtaining a hunting license for a disabled person are similar across states, there are specific rules that change across state borders.
In some states, for a disabled person to possess a license to hunt, they will have to undergo specific training programs on how to handle firearms. Only upon qualifying those programs can they apply for a hunting license.
In the case of a blind person, even if they participated and passed all programs, they are still not permitted to possess a firearm.
A disabled person may not be able go hunting on their own as even to reach the hunting site they sometimes require help depending on their disabilities. It is necessary for the person assisting the disabled person to also possess a hunting license.
Disabled Veteran Hunting/Fishing
Government works a lot for the betterment of veterans. A disabled veteran with a disability of more than 50% or someone who is an amputee and lost their leg or foot is qualified for a disabled veteran hunting license.
While there is a cost for the hunting license, if you are a disabled veteran, chances are you will get your hunting license for free. The majority of the states provide free hunting licenses to disabled veterans. There is a fee for acquiring a hunting license in some states, but it is minimal.
For getting the disabled veteran hunting license, you need to have your USDVA file number while filling out the application form that is available both online and offline. Once completed, send your application along with the payment for the license, if any, to the head office of the department of natural resources or any other equivalent department.
Different Kinds Of Adaptive Equipment For Hunting/Fishing
For a disabled person to go hunting, having the proper adaptive gear is essential. Without the right equipment, disabled hunters will have trouble even reaching the hunting site, let alone going hunting.
Seeing the popularity of going hunting among disabled hunters, many manufacturers have come up with several types of adaptive equipment that help make hunting easier for them.
The Heater Body Suit is a type of hunting gear for cold weather. While it is not explicitly made for disabled people, it is a necessary piece of equipment when it comes to cold weather hunting. No matter where you are going hunting, Canada or Wisconsin, a heater bodysuit will keep you warm even in the snow.
Having a warm body is essential while hunting to keep you alert throughout. It works by trapping your body heat within the suit, creating a warm air pocket that keeps you warm. You don’t need any leg or hand warmers apart from the heater bodysuit.
Adaptive Equipment LM100 gun mount
People with disabilities often have trouble holding the gun steady and have either low or no upper body strength. Having tremors in their hands prevents them from keeping the gum stable, so they can not have perfect aim.
This limited mobility LM100 gun mount is made specifically for people who use a wheelchair while hunting. It can support a pistol, rifle, or crossbow. This gun mount comes with a mounting plate that goes under the seat cushion of the wheelchair’s seat.
Once the mounting plate is beneath the seat cushion, the hunter sits in the wheelchair, and their weight keeps the mounting plate secure in place. There is a vertical receiver tube that attaches to the front side of the mounting plate in the middle. After it’s done, the weapon assembly plate which holds the weapon goes inside the receiver tube.
The design of the LM100 gun mount supports all the weight of the rifle, pistol, or crossbow and allows full motion so that a hunter can aim freely.
A terrain wheelchair is a must when it comes to adaptive hunting for disabled hunters. A terrain wheelchair differs from a regular wheelchair in terms of its use. In some cases, a terrain wheelchair has different wheels or treads to offer better grip over uneven surfaces. A terrain wheelchair allows you to glide through off roads, sand, and gravel.
Without the proper gear, forget hunting; a disabled person won’t even be able to reach the hunting site. A terrain wheelchair enables them to reach their hunting site or even change their location while hunting without needing help from anyone else.
There are several different types of terrain wheelchairs with different features. Some wheelchairs can be manual, and others are powered with batteries. Also, some can have better performance over any terrain type, while some can be better equipped.
A Nite Site
Nite site is a range of equipment used by hunters to have better vision in the dark. It is even more essential for disabled hunters to use nite site equipment. While hunting in the dark, a nite site helps see the target better. Night site works on the thermal heat concept. Upon using this equipment, a hunter can see the heat signatures of prey and be able to aim even when it’s nighttime.
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Primos Trigger Sticks
Primos trigger sticks are not just ideal for hunters hunting at remote locations to steadying their weapons to have a perfect aim. It also acts as a piece of adaptive hunting equipment for people with disabilities.
People with upper body disabilities have trouble holding their firearms steady, which is why they cannot aim straight. With the help of Primos trigger sticks, a disabled person can keep their firearm stable and have better aim. There are several different Primos trigger sticks that you can choose from, depending on your need.
A trigger activator is a device that activates either with manual intervention or with a power-driven switch, and once activated, it is set to perform a specific task.
In the case of adaptive hunting equipment for disabled people, a trigger activator is attached to a firearm which is set to fire when a particular button or any trigger is pushed.
People with mobility issues have trouble doing extreme hand and upper body movements, so they have a problem pushing the triggers of their firearms. Having a trigger activator helps push the trigger without needing much physical movement.
For example, you can activate the BT100 Bite Trigger by biting it with your teeth. It works almost in the same way as an electric trigger, but in the case of people who have partial vision and poor finger strength, it lets you “feel” the trigger and activate it without using the fingers.
Action Trackchair takes powered wheelchair to the next level. It is the one thing that helps a disabled person go anywhere without needing help from anyone. Instead of wheels like in wheelchairs, the Trackchair contains treads, making it much easier to move off roads, hills, and even swamps.
While you can not expect the track chair to move at high speed, the feeling of not being dependent on anyone else for even walking to the hunting site is something every disabled hunter wishes for.
What is even better is that you can go from sitting to standing at the press of a button with this track chair. With five different models and 14 sizes, and 18 different colors, you can have more than 30 options, and with accessories, you can customize your action track chair as per your choices.
Adaptive Equipment Model CB100
The adaptive equipment model CB100 is a compound bow mount. It has a design that helps support the bow for disabled people when they go hunting. People with disabilities have either low or no mobility at all, and that is why they have trouble holding any hunting equipment.
Persons with spinal cord injuries also have lower hand mobility and difficulty holding anything, and people who use wheelchairs can use this CB100 compound bow mount.
This bow mount comes with a mounting plate that goes under the cushion of the wheelchair’s seat. Once the mounting plate is in place, the user sits on the wheelchair, and their weight holds the mounting plate in place.
After the user sits on the wheelchair, you can attach the vertical receiver tube to the mounting plate in the middle of the front side. Once it is done, you can place the weapon support assembly in the receiver tube.
With the CB100, you can easily fit most of the component bows on it. Also, the mount is suitable for all and fits left or right-handed bows. The CB100 needs a draw loc or any other similar product which you have to buy separately.
You might also like to read: Tripod Gun Mount Review
Pistol Scope Crosshairs
A pistol scope comes very handily for a disabled hunter. It offers better accuracy while shooting a target. A pistol scope helps you see a magnified version of your target with a clearer image.
It does not just help improve your accuracy but also magnifies your target to increase the distance to which you can see and shoot targets. Adding a pistol scope crosshairs to your shotgun or any other firearm can significantly increase your aim and shooting range.
Evolution of adaptive hunting/fishing equipment
With the increasing popularity of hunting among disabled people, adaptive hunting equipment has seen a lot of evolution over the past few decades.
What started as customizing equipment in personal garages and workshops for disabled people has transformed into manufacturers’ building hunting equipment, especially for disabled people.
From gun mounts to powered wheelchairs, adaptive hunting equipment has come a long way. You can even find trigger activators for a person with no finger or hand strength.
Disabled Sports In The Olympics
For disabled people, even in the Olympics, there are several different sports. There is a separate Olympics organized for disabled people called the Paralympics. Paralympics is divided into two separate events- winter games and summer games.
Both these events are organized alternately every two years. There are several different sports for the disabled in the Paralympics. The winter sports include:
- Alpine skiing
- Cross-country skiing
- Para ice hockey
- Wheelchair curling
And the summer sports include:
- Football 5-a-side
- Shooting Para sport
- Sitting volleyball
- Table tennis
- Wheelchair fencing
- Wheelchair basketball
- Wheelchair rugby
- Wheelchair tennis
For disabled hunters, shooting and archery might be of specific interest. Also, since disability varies from person to person, there can be modifications in the sports equipment to suit the type of disability a participant has.
Hunting doesn’t have to be something that only non-disabled people can do. With our guide to adaptive hunting equipment, it is possible for a disabled person to start hunting once again.
All they need are the right equipment and some guidelines for where to start. Thank you for reading the article. We hope that you were able to find what you were looking for.