Tennessee has become an ideal hunting destination for individuals with mobility impairments, thanks to the combined efforts of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission (TFWC) and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation (TWRF) to provide wheelchair-accessible custom blinds on public lands.
Tennessee is already home to more than a dozen deer, turkey and waterfowl blinds that include ramps and other features to make hunting from a wheelchair more convenient. A number of wheelchair-accessible fishing piers and observation towers offer additional outdoor opportunities. “A big part of preserving this country’s hunting heritage involves bringing new people to the sport,” said Shane Hall, NWTF Tennessee Save the Hunt coordinator and TWRA Moment of Freedom coordinator. “The combined efforts to build these blinds has increased opportunities and provided access to thousands of acres allowing mobility impaired individuals to experience quality hunts.”
The state’s Moment of Freedom initiative, a cooperative effort by the TWRA, TWRF, TWRC and other partners, is aimed at increasing these opportunities. While the goals of the Moment of Freedom include the creation of 21 new sites over the next three years, Hall has set his sights higher. “This project relies solely on financial contributions but I see us being able to add 40 or more sites as this project picks up steam,” he said. To learn about the Moment of Freedom, visit www.MomentOfFreedom.org
The Moment of Freedom initiative is also in the spirit of the NWTF Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt program that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to give the NWTF more energy and purpose than ever. Through this national initiative, NWTF has committed to raising $1.2 billion to conserve and enhance more than 4 million acres of essential upland wildlife habitat, create at least 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting, shooting and outdoor enjoyment. Without hunters, there will be no wildlife or habitat. The NWTF is determined to Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.
To learn more about the NWTF Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative, visit www.nwtf.org, or contact Peter Muller at 803 637-7698.