3 archery deer hunts held at SIUC for people with physical disabilities

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Touch of Nature Environmental Center will host three archery deer hunts for people with physical disabilities.

The first hunt takes place between November 1-3, and is co-sponsored by the Physically Challenged Bowhunters of American Inc.

PCBA is a non-profit organization which takes hunters with a physical disability, to hunting blinds set up by scouters.

According to John Brod, President of PCBA, the organization will help any man, woman or child who wishes to hunt.

Brod also said the hunts are not just a couple of cars driving around, or into easily navigated fields.

""It takes two to three grown men to help somebody in a power chair, that can't get up and walk, or can't transfer," Brod said. "To drag that chair through the sand, and get them in a location and hope the animals come in for them to have the opportunity to harvest something."

Hunters get up around 5 a.m. to get ready for the trek into the wilderness, returning from their hunts at around 11 a.m. only to return hours later.

According to Brod, if the hunter is successful, they will harvest the animal, and donate any extras to Hunters Feeding the Hungry.

One successful hunter, Cindy Prince, enjoys each time she gets to get a little touch of nature.

"It's awesome, it's really a neat program, and they always treat us really well," Prince said. "It's hard for people with disabilities to just get out there and hunt like others do. So it's really cool that they set up special things and get special blinds and find spots that is easily accessible for wheelchairs. Thing's like that."

Membership to PCBA costs $15 for adults 16 and over, and $5 for anyone under.

The organization does 15 hunts around the U.S. each year. The hunts consist of four days and cost around $750 per hunter.

The second hunt at Touch of Nature is Nov. 11-13, and is co-sponsored by the National Wild Turkey Federation/Illinois Wheelin' Sportsmen.

The third hunt is Nov. 25-27, and is co-sponsored by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Chapter of Safari Club International.

Hunters must have current hunting permits and licenses as well as following all state and federal guidelines.

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