Friday, April 17, 2015

Therapy Through Hunting

Therapy Through Hunting
In terms of outdoor activity, hunting is a large component, but due to disabilities, some feel as though this group is left out, but that is not what actually is going on. A case study was done that compared the motivation and satisfaction of disabled hunters compared to t non-disabled hunters in Alabama. This study showed the data collected about the motivation of the disabled hunters with a small mail questionnaire. This questionnaire asked a variety of questions inquiring about past experiences. “We hypothesized that the 2 hunter groups would be significantly different in their motivations for and satisfactions with the hunting experience because of the obvious physical differences between these groups.”1. When the data from the mail questionnaire came back to the researchers they were very surprised to find out that when it came to motivation for hunting the disabled and non-disabled had almost no differences despite there being an obvious difference in age, income, and intellect. The main difference is that most of the people ran into the problem of having a place to hunt that is accessible to persons with a disability. The next part of the survey was to find out how they rated a hunt in terms of the overall hunting experience in regards to successful harvesting game. The data on this part of the survey was split into three different groups, solitude, sport, and trophy for comparison analysis. When all of the groups were compared side by side there was no significant difference; leading the researchers to hypothesize, when making management decision  related to an individual’s hunting experience, management agencies do not need to categorize hunters with disabilities and non-disabled hunters. With this in mind, I believe what they are trying to say that you shouldn’t distinguish in between the hunters themselves, but instead focus on how to make the hunting area more accessible for those with a disability. Hunters with disabilities have just as much desire and right to hunt as any non-disabled person.chad_hunting.jpg
        Another  study done in Illinois focused on how accessible it is for people  with a disabilities to deer hunt. The study also examined their overall experience as it relates to a successfully harvesting animal. They set out to obtain this information by method of mail survey that was sent out to a special population whom had participated in a handicapped hunt previously and those who had obtained a special hunters permit to allow for adapted hunting due to a disability. This group of researchers even went a step further and contacted the wildlife agencies of each state, and proceeded to asked them a short over the telephone questionnaire inquiring about the states status on disabled hunting. Of all the agencies called, a total of forty-nine responded to the questions, and thirty-four replied that they  have special programs for hunters with disabilities with varying degrees of involvement. Some provide special guided hunts, while the largest grouping of states provide more. Eleven states concluded that some effort had been made to make state-owned lands accessible to hunters with disabilities. Access is provided generally in the form of wheelchair ramps and special pull-off areas for shooting from vehicle.2.
The ultimate goal should always be to make equal opportunities for all people no matter what the disability may be. Technology and research is constantly being used to help further the opportunities for  people with disabilities to thoroughly enjoy hunting just like anyone else. No one should ever have their right of being able to hunt taken away from them because of some type of disability.
1.A Comparison of Deer Hunters with Disabilities and Nondisabled Hunters in Alabama: Motivations and Satisfactions in Deer Hunting James B. Armstrong and Amy L. Grilliot
Wildlife Society Bulletin, Vol. 33, No. 1 (Spring, 2005), pp. 243- Hunters with Disabilities: A Survey of Wildlife Agencies and a Case Study of Illinois Deer Hunters
2.Alan Bright, Janiece J. Sneegas, Bev Driver and Michael J. Manfredo Wildlife Society Bulletin, Vol. 17, No. 4 (Winter, 1989), pp. 487-493 Hughes, J. V. (2008, Feb 17). For disabled hunters, sport goes on. New York Times (1923-Current File)

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