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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hunters, start your engines: Ohio’s bid to help disabled people shoot stuff

Posted By on Tue, Apr 22, 2008 at 5:35 AM

deer.jpg
Disabled people will now have better access to shooting this guy
The fight between man and deer has always been a little one-sided. Hooves and antlers, no matter how pointy, will never be a match for bows and rifles. But until last week, deer still had the relative advantage of being much faster than their camouflaged predators. Not anymore. Now, thanks to an amendment from state Representative Peter Uvjagi, physically challenged hunters in Ohio can qualify for a permit allowing them to use motorized vehicles on their next foray into the woods… Here’s how it works: disabled hunters can drive electric powered all-purpose vehicles (EPAPVs) into state-designated areas and then use them as blinds or platforms -- i.e. they can shoot while they’re still sitting. EPAPVs were chosen because their impact on the environment is minimal, they’re quieter, and, on a more practical level, they close up a loophole that might’ve allowed any Ohioan with a gun and a gas-powered ATV the right to blaze through a forest. But lest you think lawmakers and hunters are stacking the deck against Bambi, consider this: The engine has to be off before a weapon can be discharged. Representative Uvjagi’s amendment was meant to increase access for the disabled, not allow them to strafe Bambi’s extended family. “This is going to enable handicapped hunters to get out and hunt at the same time everybody else does,” says Uvjagi. “But no deer drive-bys.” – Caleb Hannan

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