By: Reid Wilson
We started with Chris early on the range to try out some different shooting techniques. With Chris in a wheelchair we had to think about where to place the gun, who was pushing the wheelchair, and how the gun would be aimed. Chris was able to pull the trigger.
Did we hit on the first try? No. Did I discover on the GoPro footage later that Jordan, my partner, was talking trash about my aim later? Yes. That is okay. I did miss the first ten with Chris as we worked on him saying pull, me swinging the barrel as we both watched the clay, me saying fire, and Chris pulling the trigger. We did hit the 11th clay and everyone went nuts.
After a few more solid clay hits, Chris and co. were ready for the field to chase winged targets. Prior to the pursuit, we adjusted the hunt to have a strategy to accommodate an adaptive hunter like Chris. We realized that these tips can help with wheelchair, prosthetic, and low endurance patients. Here are three things Chris helped us come up with that led to a successful adaptive hunt.
Tips For a Very Successful Adaptive Hunt
Try the Post up
When we first made our way up the hill to the beautiful food plot and switch grass landscape, we looked for spots to post Chris. A post or posting was optimal for our hunt because the strategy allowed Chris to sit ahead of the hunt at a safe angle and distance. The other hunters walked the grasses to push birds with the dogs towards our post. Many birds flew up our way and Chris was able to knock down four.
Try the UTV Rollout
Through a long day Chris’ wheelchair pushing assistant worked hard to get him in position through grass and bumpy dirt. JJ was relieved when we used the UTV. We lifted Chris into the bed. JJ was able to brace him from behind and I was able to ensure he would not roll into the sunset. With a great driver we were able to back Chris up over some strong points from Dusty the English Setter.
Have the Pointer Ready
Speaking of Dusty, he was the show’s star with his consistent nose. A pointing dog shows the hunters where the birds are by literally pointing with their nose while standing still. This allowed us to drive the UTV into an optimal position for Chris to get a shot. Strong willed Dusty was finding the birds for Chris all day and held his points for over a minute. Good Boy.
We closed on a strong note with Chris hitting the final birds. The success was in part to the above keys. By using these keys we are able to create a longer hunt for wheelchair, prosthetic, and low endurance patients. A longer hunt means more time in the field together and a better chance to connect.