Central Hunters Won’t Let A Little Disability Stop Them

Central Hunters Won’t Let A Little Disability Stop Them

INDIAN MOUND — Not many peo-ple who have been blind from birth have had the opportunity to go deer hunting and kill not one but two deer.  But Shane Smith of Indian Mound has done just that.

Shane’s dad, C.E. Smith, an avid hunter, said it was an experience that both he and Shane will treasure for a lifetime.

The opportunity for Shane, 29, and many other youth and adults with various handicaps to get outdoors and go hunting is provided by a national organization called Hope Outdoors.

Dan Robichaux, chief administrative officer at Neighbors Federal Credit Union, is state president of Hope Outdoors, and he loves the chance to make a difference in people’s lives.  Dan was inspired to get involved because his own son has had three kidney transplants, which has limited his normal physical activities.

Hope Outdoors, founded in 2005, pays all expenses for those with disabilities to go hunting for deer or turkey or fishing.  Robichaux said that in Louisiana, individuals have been able to participate with a wide variety of disabilities, including quadriplegics and those suffering from cancer, blindness, and mental illnesses.

In mid-December, Robichaux and Brett Crow, Hope Outdoors volunteer, took three hunters along with their dads to Tatum Plantation in Centreville, Miss. for the hunt of a lifetime. The hunters were Shane Smith, Trey Wax and Nuet Hebert. They were accompanied by their dad’s, C.E., Alan, and Todd.

Shane is blind, Trey suffers from a brain hemorrhage that occurred at birth, and Nuet has a degenerative spinal disorder.

Robichaux said, “When I approached C.E. about taking Shane on a hunt, he wasn’t sure how we would be able to pull it off. A blind person shooting a deer? But Wildlife Optics makes a device called a Trophy Shot. It allows hunters with disabilities the ability to shoot. In Shane’s case, he would shoulder the gun and aim while his dad sat behind him and watched on a small TV screen mounted on the scope. C.E. would instruct Shane to move up or down, left or right. When the cross hairs were in the correct place, C.E. would instruct Shane to pull the trigger.”

“The first evening out, Shane, C.E., and his guide Eli Vincent were sitting in a box stand overlooking a large food plot. As they watched several deer enter the plot, a large 10 point showed up. Even being blind, Shane still got buck fever. The three worked together to get Shane in the correct position. Finally, the deer got broadside and at 140 yards, C.E. said to squeeze the trigger and Shane did just that. Robichaux said, “The deer ran into the woods but on the video, we could tell it was a great shot. After dark, we went to look for Shane’s deer and it was easy to find. The 10 pointer scored 123 inches.  As C.E. and I rode in the back of the truck, I asked C.E. if he ever thought he would be able to hunt with Shane and see him harvest a deer. C.E.’s response was, ‘This was nowhere near my bucket list.’”

C.E. Smith is originally from Lake Arthur.  His wife Debbie is from Baton Rouge.  Shane went to Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired and then public school.  He graduated from home school.

When Hope Outdoors takes someone on a trip, they pay all expenses, including hunting clothes and a Bible.  They even pay the taxidermy bill.  For more information on Hope Outdoors or to contact Dan Robichaux, go to www.hopeoutdoors.org.


Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

Comments are closed.