Mark Chambers of CBC reporting on Accessible Canadian Adventures Guelph, Ontario
Every fall, thousands of hunters attack the woods and forests of the province in quest of game and adventures.
The practice of this sport was, until recently, limited to those in possession of all their means.
But now, there is a new tendency to want to make the sport more accessible. . . even to the people who cannot walk.
Brian Hachez lost the use of its legs from a car accident.
But his wheelchair does not prevent him from practicing the sport he loves. His passion. . . hunting.
A resident of Kapuskasing, Brian normally hunts from an ATV. But today - this is a special day.
”This is peace. It is quiet. You do what you want. A big thing here is that there is no audience. You do what you want, when you want. “
He came specifically to Guelph in southern Ontario to hunt venison.
It goes without saying that hunters like Brian have special needs to allow them to practice their sport.
“I never hunted in southern Ontario. I usually hunt in northern Ontario or in the northwest. That is totally different. I never hunted from a "tree-stand" – there are a lot of things that will be different. Yes I am anxious!”
It is necessary to have accessible washrooms and access ramps as a means to get to the hunt area.
But there are very few sources that respond to the needs of this growing clientele.
This is exactly why Wylie Harvey and his hunting colleague, Bobby Schmutz, decided to create Accessible Canadian Adventures.
“Just to go for venison, for example, I called 50 places to try to find a place that was wheelchair accessible.”
Mister Harvey himself lost the use of its legs from a car accident.
A hunter since his childhood, he wanted to find a way to continue.
It’s not because one is handicapped, he says, that one loses the desire to go hunting and fishing.
“Just because we're disabled. . .”
Their company is a little like a travel agency. They source outfitters who can meet the needs of the disabled client and sometimes will accompany them as guides.
The goal, he says, is to encourage them. To finally say to them, that yes, it is possible to go hunting in a wheelchair.
“We hope it encourages people to take that step. . .”
The hunters today are equipped with crossbows.
Wylie hides himself in a tree with the assistance of a special chair able to climb a tree by itself.
The other hunters will hide themselves in other posts and await the venison in ambush.
“I am anxious that something begins; if we can see something at least. . “
The wait is long. . . very long. It is necessary to keep absolutely silent and especially not to move.
Three and a half hours later. . . it is too dark to continue.
The hunters return empty-handed. . . But that also is part of the sport.
“I found that no worse (than usual). This is a beautiful spot. Me - I did not see venison but I had the sense that some had walked just a little farther (from here)”.
THIS is hunting?
Often you never hear talk about the week you waited for; you only hear talk about the last five minutes.
The hunters will try again another time.