published Sunday, November 3rd, 2013

Hunting event for the disabled to be held in Comer

COMER, Ga. — An event set for next weekend in northeast Georgia will give people with disabilities a chance to participate in a deer hunt.

At least 75 people are set to join the second annual Northeast Georgia Ultimate Adventure Deer Hunt on Friday and Saturday, the Athens Banner-Herald reports.

"We're totally inclusive. Anybody with any type disability -- it doesn't matter -- they can participate," said Kirk Thomas, executive director of Outdoors Without Limits. "We have no age limit."

Thomas was paralyzed while hunting in Alabama in November 1992. He founded the organization that is sponsoring the hunting event in 2008. The event isn't just for people who have disabilities, he said.

"We're asking the hunter and fishermen who love the outdoors to give a day and half of their time to make it happen for someone who otherwise would not have an opportunity," he said. "It's life changing and life saving."

The hunters should arrive Friday morning at the Comer Fairgrounds for registration, orientation, an afternoon hunt and dinner. They're expected to be up the next morning for breakfast at 5 a.m. followed by more hunting in the woods.

Thomas was hurt while hunting when a tree fell on him, shattering two vertebrae. Doctors said he'd be hospitalized for six months, but he was released in 52 days. He worked for the Boy Scouts of America and for the Wild Turkey Federation before founding Outdoors Without Limits to help disabled people participate in outdoor activities.

"The only way I know how to run this organization is like a big ol' happy family and that's everybody helping everybody," he said.

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