I’ve had the opportunity to go on a lot of group hunts all over the United States and become friends with some of the people who lead these necessary causes. The following is a list of some of the ones I have been involved with and know to be legit, either by attending the actual event as a hunter, putting it together myself or being friends with the people in charge.
Keep in mind that the ones listed here are not the only ones. They are merely the clubs that I have had the pleasure of experiencing. There are many states that have some type of outdoor events for disabled hunters & fishermen. The following list will get you started.
1. Chairbound Hunters is a small organization based in Wheatland, WY, that takes out a select number of wheelchair-bound hunters every year primarily on pronghorn antelope hunts and occasionally mule deer hunts. These hunts are rifle hunts conducted on a one-on-one basis and last for two to three days. Most hunts are conducted in October every year which is a beautiful time to be in WY. Hunters stay in a local motel and are responsible for applying for a non-resident license. All hunts are on private land surrounding Wheatland.
- Review: This is a fun hunt and ideal if you don’t want to be in a big group.
2. HelluvaHunt is an annual hunt in Douglas, WY, that has been running for more than 25 years. This is a large group hunt that was co-founded by Jim Zumbo and is routinely videoed for his outdoor TV program. Hunters can either stay in a dormitory at no charge or in a motel in Douglas. HH is a rifle hunt that takes place once a year in late September or early October. Each hunter will have at least two volunteer guides to help them in the field. All hunts are from vehicles and applications are accepted all year long. Fifteen disabled hunters will be chosen for the hunt.
- Review: HH is a terrific event run by a lot of really good people. The hunting is for antelope only and every hunter will see numerous bucks every day, some even in the 15-16” range.
3. Wyoming Disabled Hunters started in 2008 with the goal of providing an affordable hunt for disabled sportsmen. They host 10 disabled hunters every year in late October/early November to pursue deer out of ground blinds with archery equipment. In 2012, they added a small number of elk hunters for some bull & cow elk hunts.
- Review: This is a relatively new organization that is just getting started and trying to get the word out. They hunt in some gorgeous country around Cody, WY. They are working to add more hunts and for different game animals.
4. UFFDA is a nice little organization of disabled archers based in Minnesota. They hold one whitetail hunt in MN and 2-3 in WI every fall. They also offer members opportunities to go on guided hunts for antelope in WY, bear & deer in Canada, and exotics in Texas at reduced rates. UFFDA president Dan Hendricks publishes a UFFDA magazine as well as a Horizontal Bowhunter magazine for group members.
- Review: This is another terrific event put on by great people. I went on my first ever bowhunt with Dan on a UFFDA hunt in MN which got me into the sport and ignited a new passion for me. There are some really good opportunities to get a big deer on some of those hunts in WI. I will go hunting with Dan again.
5. Global Opportunities Unlimited was formed by Dustin Berg in New Mexico. They offer support for any type of outdoor activity in NM that you want to do, but their main focus is on hunting & fishing. They have also started a WC basketball team, the first of its kind in that state. Some of the events they will host, some of them they find able-bodied help if you need it. Basically, you can contact Dustin and tell him what you want to do and he will do his best to help if he can.
6. North Carolina Handicapped Sportsmen is a small group that puts on 2-3 hunts per year in the state of NC, primarily for whitetail deer. A good friend of mine helps run the organization and she also attended one of the hunts where she took her first buck ever. This is a perfect opportunity for anyone looking to get out in the woods and who needs help doing it.
7. Serve Outdoors is an organization that I am involved with in southeast Texas. We have a turkey hunt in April, a saltwater fishing event in August, a teal hunt in September, and a deer hunt in December every year, all in Texas. We also do some youth hunts and wounded warrior hunts in combination with some of our annual events. All participants need only be responsible for travel expenses.
- Review: The hunt I’m in charge of is the duck hunt in late September so naturally I think this is the best one to attend. It’s definitely the most fun and we serve the best meals for this one. Come find out!
8. Wheelin’ Sportsmen is the first of the “biggies,” the nationwide groups. Created in 1996 by Kirk Thomas, Wheelin’ Sportsmen is a subsidiary of the NWTF and has a footprint in almost every state across the nation. They run mostly turkey hunts but have branched out into deer hunting, women-only and youth hunts whenever the opportunities arise.
- Review: I like this organization because it is so widespread that it can reach more people in need. They are solidly run and are accommodating at all of their events.
Outdoor Buddies was founded by the late Sid Sellers at Craig hospital in Colorado, OB puts together a wide variety of outdoor events for its disabled members, including camping, fishing, turkey hunting, quail, and pheasant hunting. They are one of the few that offer upland bird hunting, but their focus is on hunting mule deer, antelope & elk in the state of Colorado. There is also an OB hunt in neighboring KS for whitetail.
- Review: I have been on several OB deer hunts and they were some of the best ones I have been on as far as the quality of deer being hunted. OB does a great job!
9. Buckmasters’ American Deer Foundation is an offshoot of Buckmasters, the BADF has been organizing disabled group hunts in the deep south for over a decade. They used to have a “listserve” that would notify all members who signed up of upcoming hunts by email, but now they provide that service through the BADF Facebook page. There is a lot of good information on adaptive equipment, outfitters, and groups operating in other states. One of the benefits they offer is providing grants for adaptive equipment and/or transportation costs for individuals who cannot afford them.
- Review: the crowning jewel of the BADF is the annual Life Hunts that they have in Alabama every January for disabled & terminally ill children. They also give out a Challenged Hunter of the Year award annually in partnership with the Streamlight Company.
10. Physically Challenged Bowhunters of America was founded in 1993, the PCBA is the largest group of disabled bowhunters, holding hunts in Kentucky & Ohio every fall for whitetail deer and an antelope hunt in Wyoming. A major emphasis is placed on reaching people with disabilities who have never been exposed to the greatest recreational therapy in the world – bowhunting and archery.
- Review: The antelope hunt in Gillette, WY, takes approximately 20-25 hunters every year with almost every hunter harvesting an animal.
11. Outdoors Without Limits is another Kirk Thomas-founded program. Kirk left Wheelin’ Sportsmen in 2007 and began his own group called OWL in order to create national hunts for people with disabilities in every state across the country. Right now, OWL hosts annual hunts in all of the southeast and is spreading westward. The main difference between OWL and every other group hunt is that OWL hunts will accommodate 50-150 hunters on their national hunts.
- Review: These hunts are ideal for anyone looking to meet other disabled hunters and have an opportunity to harvest a deer. OWL is the fastest-growing organization right now.