- Hunting in the Northwoods has been a yearly tradition for many.
But when a life-long hunter suffers a serious injury like a strok--getting back in the woods may seem like an unattainable dream.
One group in Rhinelander, is giving those folks a second chance.
"We try to provide a very safe hunt for them. It's a big family," said Tom Nicholson UFFDA Second V.P.
Spending time outside hunting is a hobby many in the Northwoods have enjoyed for generations.
But for some, medical conditions have hindered them from enjoying the past time they once loved so much.
That's where UFFDA comes in--The United Foundation For Disabled Archers.
Nicholson said "I've had quadriplegics. They have an automatic lift on the crossbow. The one gentleman you sit behind him and twist his wheel chair left and right and he tells you when to stop. He adjusts the cross bow up and down with a chair lift. And when he gets on target he sucks on a cross bow and fires the target."
UFFDA was founded in Minnesota 17 years ago.
The Rhinelander hunt began in 2000.
It started with just 2 hunters and over the last decade it's expanded to over 20 participants.
How it works-each year the hunters compete for 25 slots…they say it's a stiff competition.
"I'm kind of a big softy I can't turn away the disabled so this year I took 30," Nicholson said.
The hunt begins Thursday afternoon and lasts until Saturday. They hunt the Boy Scout grounds in Rhinelander.
For some, it's the only time of year they get to hunt.
UFDAA Volunteer Nathan Jack said "We're here to still be able to get them out in the woods. Accidents, strokes or illnesses, their life doesn't end. They can still go hunting enjoy the rest of life."
One hunter, Rany, suffered a stroke 10 years and his doctors told him he'd never be able to hunt again.
But with Nathan's help…Randy is able to hunt once again. This year he harvest ine deer.
Jack said "To see the smile on his face when he gets a deer and when he's got a successful hunt it's pretty fun. It's rewarding enough."
The entire weekend is paid for through annual fundraisers and private donations. Around 70 volunteers make this annual tradition possible.
"Just because of a disability doesn't mean they have to stop living." Jack said.