Decades of Helping Disabled Hunters

SHAWANO COUNTY, Wisc (WBAY) Wisconsin's nine-day gun deer season for hunters with disabilities opens this Saturday.

That means it's again time for a local non-profit organization to provide dozens of hunters with an opportunity they wouldn't have otherwise.

They gathered Outside Sportsman's Bar in southern Shawano County on Wednesday morning, to go over the game plan.

There's a special deer hunt just days away and a lot of deer blinds to get set up.

"It's a joint effort with a whole lots of people to make it happen," says Bill Mayville who owns a farm nearby.

Mayville and his buddies are all members of Challenge the Outdoors, an organization dedicated to taking people with disabilities hunting and fishing.

They're heading to a farm just west of Navarino to set up a specialized trailer blind for hunters who don't have the use of their arms.

"They get so excited about getting a deer, they never thought they had an opportunity to do this again and now they have the opportunity," says Mayville.

"If you've ever been with anybody that shot a pheasant or a deer that's disabled, you can't explain it, it mean it just sets your heart pumping," adds Jim Adamovich, a CTO member.

Founded 20 years ago, Challenge the Outdoors has helped hundreds of disabled hunters in Northeast Wisconsin continue to pursue their passion.

Thanks to area farmers who've offered up a combined 4,000 acres of land, and a businesses who donate supplies and help with fundraising, more than 30 grateful hunters will be in the woods this weekend.

"They always got a smile on their face and a good day, they're happy for what they got, I worked with guys that were unhappy all the time and they had everything," says Adamovich.

The only challenge moving forward for Challenge the Outdoors is trying to keep up with the program's tremendous growth.

"We need more help all the time, we need some young blood in there to help us out, some of us guys are getting way too old for this, we've got to have somebody help us get to a deer blind pretty quick," says Mayville with a chuckle.