Disabled Hunters Raised to New Heights

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Commission Unveils Ten Handicapped Hunting Lifts

Disabled Hunters Raised to New HeightsBUTNER, N.C. – Sportsmen, advocates and donors from across the state got their first look – and chance to test – ten brand-new handicapped hunting lifts Monday during a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the purchase of the equipment.

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and the North Carolina Handicapped Sportsmen have each donated $50,000 to purchase the lifts, which are attached to trailers to travel to any part of the state.

Disabled Hunters Raised to New Heights“While today might be the first time many have seen these lifts, I know it won’t be the last,” said Steve Windham, vice chairman of the commission.

“The partnership we have embarked upon with the North Carolina Handicapped Sportsmen to acquire these pieces of equipment is truly monumental in that it will allow sportsmen to hunt and enjoy other outdoor activities in all areas of the state for many years to come. We expect the lifts to see a lot of use.”

One unit will be based in each of the nine Commission districts, while the 10th will move throughout the state. The lifts will be used for special permit hunts for handicapped sportsmen, which occur several times each year. The commission also plans to loan them out to organized groups, and is particularly excited by the capability these units provide for hunting in counties that have local laws that require elevated stands for hunting with rifles.

Disabled Hunters Raised to New HeightsHistorically, disabled hunters have not been able to easily rifle hunt these counties and these units will allow the agency and others to offer increased hunting opportunities.

“I am pleased that North Carolina acquired hunting lifts that can be used by handicapped sportsman – especially our veterans,” said Congressman Robin Hayes. “As a hunter, I know firsthand the joy of being outdoors, and I have developed a great appreciation for the nature and wildlife of our great State. Traditionally, physical disabilities have stopped would-be hunters from these activities, but these lifts will open this opportunity to them. I want to commend all people involved in bringing these handicapped hunting lifts to North Carolina. It is a huge victory.”

Monday’s ceremony featured comments from Randy West, a retired U.S. Marine Corps Member and board member of the Paralyzed Veterans of America. Ed Mays, president of the N.C. Handicapped Sportsmen, also spoke. Mays was instrumental in raising the organization’s $50,000 contribution toward the purchase of the lifts.

Manufactured by Carolina Growler of Star, N.C, the hunter green lifts feature solar panels to keep them powered during long hunting trips. They also have stabilizers, roofs and benches for comfort and can hold up to 750 lbs.