Army Corps of Engineers In Somerville Hold Deer Hunt For Physically Challenged

By: Toni Harrison
By: Toni Harrison

Randy Rozell of Somerville enjoys hunting.

"It's awesome there's just no way to tell you how great it is," said Randy Rozell, deer hunter.

For many years he has wanted to go on hunting trips with his brothers. But Randy is in a wheelchair, so hunting with his brothers isn't something he's normally able to do.

"My brothers and everything got to go hunting in Alaska and Colorado and everywhere and I never got to go," said Rozell.

A few years ago, all that changed. Randy learned of a deer hunting event for the physically challenged that was right in his backyard.

"They can take you up into the ramp area where you are inside of a building and then you can shoot out of the window and everything is set up for a handicapped person, they call it a physically challenged deer hunt," said Rozell.

The US Army Corps of Engineers in Somerville, with help from community volunteers, have hosted the deer hunt for the past 17 years.

"We looked out there and felt there was a need," said Martin Gustafson, US Army Corps of Engineers.

Gustafson, says the specific idea came about because corps members made it a goal to provide a recreational opportunity to a segment of society they weren't reaching.

"A lot of people feel that they can't really do that hunting, but they're surprised when they get out here that they really can if they put their mind to it," said Gustafson.

"If was football there is no way with braces and stuff that I could play, but this I can do," said Rozell.

The daylong event began at 5:00 a.m. and Gustafson says it takes a full year just to plan for this one day.

"It takes a lot of time, but its worth it," said Gustafson.

On this year's excursion, 17 physically challenged individuals from across the state had a hunting a experience some of them never thought would be possible.


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