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Hunting season begins for hunters with disabilities

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andrew hunting

BLOOMER (WQOW) - For most, hunting season doesn't begin for nearly two months, but for Wisconsin's hunters that have a disability, the season began on Saturday.

Like many Wisconsinites, Andrew Bohl loves hunting with his dad. But his version of waiting for buck fever is a little different because Andrew has spina bifida.

"It is a spinal cord malformation," said his father, Cletus Bohl.

It's something Andrew has lived with his whole life. He said he doesn't go out too much because it's difficult, but when it comes to hunting, he's eager to put on that hunter orange.

"It's my way of connecting with what my dad has been doing," Andrew said.

Cletus said spending time with family is what hunting is all about.

"The hunt is just a way to get together."

For Andrew as well, the favorite pastime is so much more than bagging a buck.

"Honestly, it's a good way to clear my head and see things the right way," he said.

Sunday afternoon, Cletus and Andrew grabbed their rifles and headed to the property of a family member. The day's excursion was possible because eight years ago, they bought Andrew a specialized wheelchair to help him through the woods.

"This allows Andrew and anyone with a physical disability to get out and enjoy stuff like this," Cletus said.

But finding a spot to hunt wasn't always easy. Cletus said before they connected with the family member, they had to drive all the way to Weyerhaeuser. There are just a little more than 80 properties throughout Wisconsin for disabled hunting season, and Cletus hopes more people volunteer their property for hunters with disabilities next year.

"The generosity of a distant family member it allows us to do this kind of stuff," he said.

On that property, a blind was set up in a spot where deer are known to walk by. The two then sat in the blind and as they enjoyed each other's company and did what hunters do best.

"It's just sit and wait now for the next three hours," said Cletus.

Cletus said later that Andrew got a small buck while out hunting Sunday.

October is Spina Bifida Awareness Month, a time to recognize the hundreds of thousands of people in the United States affected by the condition.

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Felicity Bosk

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