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Monday, December 29, 2014

Illinois Winter Hunting Opportunities Available For People With Disabilities

Northern Public Radio | by JENNA DOOLEY | Dec. 2014

The archery season for deer and turkey continues into mid-January for some counties.

Since 1999, Illinois state parks where hunting is available have opened their gates to people with disabilities.
Jay Williams coordinates the state's disabled outdoor opportunities program.  He says word still needs to get out that the program is not just about one-day events, but allows people with disabilities to take part in hunting throughout the year.
They don't have to watch The Outdoor Channel anymore to get what I call their "hunting fix." What we are going to do is make reasonable accommodations for you in our state parks."
Williams lost the use of his legs several decades ago.  He says his experience helps him identify ways others with disabilities can participate in hunting and fishing at state parks. He says every situation is unique.
"There are what we call 'hidden disabilities" like heart problems, arthritis, just different things that might keep people from getting out."
Williams says the state has a "10 Day Rule." People with disabilities contact a site superintendent 10 days before they would like to hunt or fish in order to make accommodations.

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