Tennessee's Wheelchair-Accessible Blinds

Thanks to the combined efforts of several outdoor organizations, Tennessee has become an ideal hunting destination for individuals with mobility impairments.

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) now provide wheelchair-accessible custom blinds on public lands. Tennessee is 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 opportunity 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, TFWC, TWRF 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 3 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.

We editors salute Shane Hall and all of the other individuals working hard to make it easier for hunters with mobility impairments to get outdoors in pursuit of ducks, deer, turkeys and fish. Well done!

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