Technology for the Disabled Archer

Sponsored by: The Physically Challenged Bowhunters of America, Victory Archery & Barnett Crossbows. Hosted by Doug Bermel – Shooting Coordinator for Bowhunting.Net.


By: Doug Bermel

My, has technology changed in the archery industry over the years! As a bow hunter in the early 80s there were not many products designed for the hunter and if you were a disabled hunter it was real tough. The early crossbows were very bulky, heavy and not very user friendly. Most were not designed for use by a disabled bow hunter. It was more like it was:” one size fits all!” Now bows come in many sizes so you can pick the one that is right for you.

Innovations like the new Vengeance Crossbow from Barnett. For more go to: Barnett Crossbows

The new bows today are well balanced and not weight- forward like the old bows. One of the safety features is the anti- firing mechanism, you need to have an arrow in place to be able to pull the trigger. If speed is what you like, today’s bows travel 300 plus feet per second compared to the older bows that were lucky to get 230 fps. They were a lot slower but still got the job done.

Another welcome addition was the rope cocker and the mounted hand cranking device. These devices made it possible for anyone with a disability to cock the bow. Scopes have come a long way too. There are many companies offering scopes specifically for the crossbow. And there is a whole array of products designed just for crossbow users like arrows and even broad heads.

The new Nikon 'Bolt XR' is a good example of modern scopes designed for crossbows. For more go to: Nikon Sports Optics


Another idem that was not available years ago was the ground blind. What a valuable asset this has been to the disabled hunter! They are light weight and easy to carry and set up. They can even be set up by a person in a wheelchair. Ground Blinds also offer total concealment and helps reduce your scent. When you keep some of the windows closed the wind is not able to blow your scent out in the field. Just set it up, raise the side, roll in and stake it down so you do not blow away.

Not all blinds were created equal for the disabled hunter. You need to make sure the windows are the right height. Some windows are designed for a compound bow with a narrow opening. This works for the able body hunter because they can move to get in position. When you are locked down in a wheelchair, moving is not an option. The correct window needs to have a wider horizontal opening so you are able to swing on game. Also when looking thru a scope you need to remember that the arrow is four to five inches lower so check that there is adequate clearance at the bottom of the window.

Author's favorite ground blind: The Dark Horse. For more go to: Primos Blinds

If you have hunted from an elevated stand or always wanted to, there are some exciting new products designed for the disabled hunter. Modern Concepts produces a lift stand that gets the disabled hunter off the ground. The unit is very portable and easy to set up, It comes with four, five foot ladder sections that you fasten to the tree. The top section has the lift strap attached that is used to help raise and lower the stand. Once the ladder is fastened you roll the unit to the tree attach the straps and raise it about three feet.. This allows you to put on the safety plate that holds the unit to the ladder. Once everything is attached you roll onto the platform using the wheelchair ramp, then lower the gun rest and the ramp comes up and locks in place. Push the button and the unit can go up to 20 feet in less than a minute.

The Spirit

The revolutionary new Spirit Lift tree stand is made from high strength aluminum which makes it light weight. The wheelchair platform is a roomy 37.5” width by 49” length and has a carrying capacity of 500 .lbs so it can be used by any type of wheelchair or mobility scooter. It is powered with a 12volt atv battery that fits snugly in the unit. It come complete with several safety features such as a climbing strap, TMA safety harness, TMA approved hands- free controlled descent device and a TMA approved fall restraint device. One of the unique features is you can buy additional ladder sections and have them fastened to other trees. You just unhook the unit, pull to another tree hook up and you are ready to hunt a new location. The unit is very portable and folds up easily and with 14” wheels it can moved to any location.

For move info please go to:  Modern Concepts Outdoors  or call 217-567-3328

The Mann Stand by Kripple Creek.

The Mann Stand by Kripple Creek was inspired by Nick Yeary after his stepson, Eric Mann, was involved in an accident that left him a quadriplegic. The MS-100 comes with a swivel seat that can be removed for a wheelchair. It is compact and easily transported with a four wheeler. Currently the unit is transported with use of a trailer but a future design will have wheels for better mobility. Setup is easy and can be accomplished by one person in six minutes with no climbing. The tree stand frame is attached to a 10” tree or larger with two nylon ratchet straps rated for a 3325 lb work load and also secured with a steel chain that can be padlocked for added security. All of the structural members are made of 11 gauge steel for durability. The stand is powered by a 12 volt DC hydraulic unit that lifts the hunter to 16ft in about 30 seconds. The unit is operated by a two- button remote control, power up and gravity down method. The platform is a very roomy 42” by 42” that can accommodate any wheelchair or mobility scooter.

Some of the safety features are a special orifice installed inside the lifting cylinder in case a hose breaks it will slowly lower you to the ground. In case of an incident there is an emergency release plug that is inserted in the lower control port that lets the platform down slowly. There are safety rails on all sides for added protection.

The Mann Stand comes in two models, the MS-100 and the Kwiki MS-200 that has all the same safety features of the 100 but is more compact.

So if you have always wanted to hunt from a elevated position but thought it would not be possible here are two stands that can help you accomplish your dream. Once they are in place you are able to access the stands with no assistance and ultimately gives you that independent feeling !

For more info go to: Kripple Creek or call Nick @ 704-882-3220

For move information you can go on the web sight at Modern or call 217-567-3328

One Response to "Technology for the Disabled Archer"

  1. Rudolph Ferdinand   2012/05/28 at 12:10 pm

    Thank you for your concern for the disabled those that would like to be able to hunt, the crossbow is the way to go if there is disabled arm or shoulder were shooting a vertical bow will no longer do. As a disable veteran, I’m still to shot my compound bow right now, again thank you for your concern for the disabled.