The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

May 13, 2013

Schools building box blinds for disabled

(Continued)

Once they're approved, hunters can reserve a shooting house for an entire day through the Colbert County Extension Office.

County Extension Coordinator Danny McWilliams said last season filled up in about 10 days.

There are 18 disabled hunting facilities located throughout the state. Some have one house and some have multiple houses, he said.

Marks said the one house at the Cherokee hunting area is available to physically disabled hunters from Nov. 1 to Jan. 31. He said it's booked throughout deer season.

Patterson said he has hunted at the Colbert County site and at the disabled hunting area in Jackson County near Skyline. The next closest place for disabled hunters is in Fayette County.

Patterson said his 19-year-old grandson accompanies him, helps him get in the shooting house, then parks the pickup out of sight and waits in the shooting house with his grandfather. If he shoots a deer, his grandson will take the truck and retrieve it.

"I think a lot of grandpas would like their grandkids to carry them," Patterson said.

Marks said the Colbert shooting house is available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, and stays reserved through deer season. The popularity was one reason the wildlife division wanted to add additional houses. He said the first shooting house for the disabled was built by an Eagle Scout about six years ago.

"I think it's a very worthy thing," McWilliams said. "Just to see the joy and excitement of the thrill of the hunt from someone who is disabled or a disabled child is worth a million dollars."

Then added, actually, "you can't put a price on it."

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