Disabled but Still in the Game
By Art Champoux
Nov 9, 2008 – 5:46:10 AM
As one gets up in years there are things that may happen to knock you out of the game. Heart attacks, strokes arthritis, bad backs, knee and joint problems, bad eyesight and a whole bunch of other physically disabling problems. I know as I have most of the above. It is a natural part of getting older I guess. Much of it can be due to diet, genes, bad luck or just DOA (darn old age). I struggled to get out hunting last year with my Darton Crossbow, my shooting sticks, backpack, cane and my stool. It was a major chore. As I sat there in my make-shift blind I wondered what would happen if I fell or even shot a deer. How would I ever get to my car or drag a deer? I was depressed.
But that natural urge to go hunting has been engrained in me since I was about 6 years old. It hasn’t left and honestly, it won’t until I take my last breath. The smell of the forest, the field and watching the multitude of flora and fauna that grow and travel the woods and fields of New Hampshire captivate me. It is special to me in so many ways. It is a part of me and I suspect the same can be said about you if you are taking the time to read this.
The outdoors consumes me and is who I am. It is a vital part of my personal history. Everyone has something that defines them. Nature and hunting is what has always defined me and it has not lessened its hold on me simply because my body has let me down. So what do I do?
Well my friend, George Trefethen is the maker of OL Timer bows and has been my friend for over 30 years. He is a genius when it comes to ideas to solve problems and I had a few he was going to help me solve.
First he took me to his hunting blind: It is located at the end of a field in back of his house about 50-75 yards from his back door. It is all equipped with chairs, a table and generally made for comfort. He can shoot his 60″ Ol Timer recurves and longbows while sitting down. When I told him my problem he told me he could fix it. So he did.
First he modified the blind, the table and even cut a small hole in the netting for the crossbow bolt to pass through. He made it simple to cock, load and fire all while sitting down at the table inside the rustic blind surrounded on all sides by deadfalls, old logs, trees, sticks and limbs.
|With George’s help Art now has a way to take his equipment into the woods.
The main device he made for me actually allows me to wheel my over rough ground, tree limbs and even small rocks with out my crossbow falling out. It is mobile, versatile and compact.
This mobile cart allows the crossbow to sit against the back with a small wooden, U shaped backing so the crossbow butt rests against it. A similar brace in the front also keeps the crossbow from falling out. 2 small bungee cords secure the crossbow, one for the front and one for the back. You just hold onto to the Crossbow foot piece, lift up the front and the wheels allow you to traverse the landscape without it falling out or tipping over..
Another nice feature allows me to strap a small pack to the cart and carry an array of small items like calls and scents etc. This makes life easier for me as I can now use my cane to steady my walking.
George and I along with 6 others started the New Hampshire Fish and Wildlife Bowhunter Education Program in the early 80s.George has been an ardent traditional shooter all his life never going to a compound. Mostly he makes his own line of bows for himself and friends. Being a retired auto mechanic now gives him more time to pursue his hobby. George is a perfectionist when it comes to his bows and is dedicated to his family and friends. He is a persistent and knowledgeable outdoorsman and has killed many deer over his life.
He has studied Indian self bows and has made flat bows, self bows, longbows and recurves. Archery is not just a sport for him, it is a passion. A simple, generous man who has time proven ideas, he enjoys helping others. After finishing my project George began making another crossbow holder with wheels for another man so he could continue to hunt also.
|Shooting Sticks help Art steady the shot.
I was over there yesterday and we sighted in and made some modifications to the shooting stick set up. Shooting from shooting sticks I could put a bolt through a 3 inch red dot at 20 yards with my 2007 Darton Crossbow. I decked it out with LimbSaver vibration reduction gear and they helped stop noise and make it one sweet shooting crossbow. In my opinion Darton makes one of the finest crossbows out there. Now when the season starts I will be ready to enjoy my favorite pastime! It’s hard to express how appreciative I am in having a good friend like George. He helped me stay in the field and enjoy hunting by giving me the support and the tools I need. Everyone should have a friend like him.
Now, when I get my deer this year I also know who to call to help me find it and get it home.
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