Some lucky hunters are being given the chance to hunt for wile turkeys more than a week in advance.
"I think it’s a great deal, because a lot of disabled people don’t have the opportunity to do such a thing unless we have these kinds of organizations and we have these kind of men that will come in and volunteer to help," said Don Oldham.
Oldham is one of 21 disabled hunters participating in the Y-Bridge Longbeards Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation’s 5th Annual Wheelin’ Sportsmen Spring Turkey Hunt at Blue Rock State Forest Saturday morning.
"This is just an opportunity to help disabled people enjoy the same things that you and I can enjoy but they can’t, so it takes a little bit of special effort and it’s a very worthy cause to give these people the same experience that we can have," said Chief of the Division of Forestry Robert Boiles.
The men were paired up with a guide who assisted them in venturing out into the woods. While wild turkey season doesn’t begin for another nine days, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources made a special exception for this event. They even had a chance to test out the new licensing and game check system.
"They got to try out our new system one using the phone and one using the internet, so it was a success," said Public Lands Administrator for ODNR Mike Zaleski.
Many of the men agreed that it means a lot to be a part of this program.
"It’s nice to know that people care enough for the disabled to make these programs available to them and I think we need more of them all over the state," said Oldham.
By noon, four turkeys had been killed.