New wheelchair provides opportunities for quadriplegic hunter

http://www.eastoregonian.com/eo/local-news/20170718/new-wheelchair-provides-opportunities-for-quadriplegic-hunter

Nels Hadden may not be able to move his arms or legs, but he can still take down a deer with a crossbow.

There’s no magic spell or use of the Force, just the power of technology that lets quadriplegic men and women do things that would have been impossible years ago.

Hadden was paralyzed from the neck down in 2009, when he stopped to help at the scene of a crash on Interstate 84 and was struck by another car that slid out of control on the ice. He lived in Milton-Freewater at the time and has since moved to Walla Walla.

On Tuesday the nonprofit Independence Fund gifted Hadden an upgraded wheelchair with 16-inch pneumatic wheels and four wheel drive that will allow him to roll across uneven terrain. He can’t wait to use it to hit the beach for the first time in more than eight years.

“This is going to give some of those things back that were taken away from me,” he said.

Hadden has always been able to move about and control a cell phone using puffs and sips of air into a straw near his mouth, but his other chairs have always been designed for flat, even surfaces.

One of the biggest things the all-terrain chair will help with is hunting. Hadden was an avid hunter before the accident, and still is today. He may not be able to hug his children or lift a spoon to his mouth, but a Walla Walla man named Gary Parson helped him obtain a contraption that mounts a rifle, shotgun or crossbow on his wheelchair and allows him to sight it and pull the trigger using puffs of air from his mouth.

He has been hunting in the years since, and has a few sets of antlers at home to show for it. In the past, he has had to more or less park his wheelchair in one spot and hope the right animal wandered past. Now he’ll be able to move through the forest with other hunters in a manner more reminiscent of when he was a younger.

“I grew up in Pilot Rock and my family, that’s just something that we did,” he said. “It’s not just about taking an animal, it’s about getting together and joking and laughing.”

Even when he was stuck sitting in a blind not too far from the wheelchair-accessible van, Hadden has had some adventures. One night he and his nurse Miranda Amwoka were sitting in the blind when a mama bear and her two cubs walked by. The mama bear came up against the side of the blind, stuck her head in and looked right in at the two of them. Since Hadden was strapped to a wheelchair and Amwoka didn’t have a weapon, it was a pretty scary experience for both of them.

Nels’ wife Betsy said he has more Twitter followers than anyone in the family after he gathered a fan club of hunters and hunting companies interested in his exploits. A couple of them even sent free game cameras for him to review. He has more than 40,000 game camera photos saved on his computer.

Betsy was the one who found out about the Independence Fund, a nonprofit that gives all-terrain wheelchairs and other tools to veterans injured in combat so that they can resume more of the outdoor activities they enjoyed before their injuries. Hadden wasn’t injured in combat, but he is a veteran who served nine years active duty and he was injured while acting as a Good Samaritan, so Betsy convinced him to take a shot at applying anyway. He received a letter saying that usually he would not be eligible, but there was a veteran in the area who had recently given one back because he only got to use it a couple of times before he fell too ill. The group was willing to give Hadden the used chair for free.

It wasn’t a simple matter of moving the chair from one part of Oregon to another. Each chair for a quadriplegic user must fit them “like a glove” in order to avoid pressure sores, and Hadden has even more needs because of the extent of the injuries he suffered during the accident. The chair was sent to a factory where it was customized to Hadden’s measurements and needs, but when Pete Hedberg of Pacific Healthcare Associates delivered it on Tuesday it still took an hour and a half of small adjustments before Hadden was lifted into it using a sling attached to an apparatus on the ceiling. Then it was another hour of adjustments aided by a tape measure to make sure his arms were resting at equal height.

“It takes longer than normal to sit him because he had so many bones broken,” Betsy said.

Still, Hadden was excited about the long-awaited chair, which resembles a shiny red miniature ATV on the bottom.

“Wow, she’s purdy,” he drawled as he laid eyes on the chair. “Pretty fancy.”

He commented on the lights and turn signals on the chair, joking, “Wal-Mart, here we come!”

Hadden doesn’t know the exact value of his new chair, but he does know that the less-fancy one he has been using cost $40,000. Buying a new wheelchair would have cost him more than buying a new car, he said. He can’t even begin to express how grateful he is to receive one for free.

“You rely on it every day because without it you’re in bed,” he said. “It’s basically like an arm or a leg.”

For more information about the Independence Fund, visit independencefund.org.

Man charged in hunting accident that killed sister-in-law pleads guilty

http://www.thelcn.com/lcn01/man-charged-in-hunting-accident-that-killed-sister-in-law-pleads-guilty-20170406

Hunter finds friendly deer wearing orange scarf for hunting

http://www.wilx.com/content/news/Hunter-finds-deer-wearing-404747255.html

On the day after Thanksgiving, Brian Powers grabbed his rifle and headed for some land east of Wausau. If not for his cell phone, Powers doubts anyone would believe what happened next. “All of a sudden here comes a deer and he has an orange scarf on. And he just kept walking and I said ‘oh my, he must be somebody’s pet or being fed by someone or being taken care of by somebody.” The color orange is commonly used to alert hunters not to shoot.

It wouldn’t be long before powers discovered he had a new friend. “Right when he got parallel on the logging road to where I was off the road, he stopped and turned and looked right at me and I said, ‘wow this is unbelievable,’ so then I called him over and he walked right in.”

With one hand filming the unlikely encounter, Powers gave the young buck a head rub. After about 10 minutes, the deer wandered off, but that afternoon as Powers was walking out of the woods, he returned, just in time to receive some friendly advice. “Keep your head low man, make sure people see that orange alright,” Powers said to the deer in his video recording. Since posting his video on Youtube, Powers story has spread all over the country.

Woman mistaken for deer, fatally shot by hunter in Arkansas, sheriff says

http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2016/nov/23/woman-mistaken-deer-fatally-shot-hunter-arkansas-s/

By Arkansas Online

This article was published today at 9:03 a.m.

A woman was fatally shot by a hunter after being mistaken for a deer in north-central Arkansas, authorities said Wednesday.

Searcy County Sheriff Joey Pruitt said the 29-year-old woman died Tuesday in an “apparent hunting accident.” Her name was not released.

It happened in an area west of Marshall, Pruitt said in a statement.

“The victim was not wearing hunter orange and was mistaken for a deer,” the sheriff said.

Authorities also did not identify the shooter.

Pruitt said his agency along with Arkansas State Police and the Arkansas Game and Fish

Toyota pulls ad after it was slammed on social media for depicting animals glad to be killed

 http://www.stuff.co.nz/motoring/75304848/toyota-pulls-ad-after-it-was-slammed-on-social-media-for-depicting-animals-glad-to-be-killed

A prose quoting fish features in the ad talking up the Hilux.

A prose quoting fish features in the ad talking up the Hilux.

A new Toyota Hilux commercial which attracted backlash on social media will no longer be screened, effective immediately.

Toyota New Zealand made the announcement on Sunday saying the decision reflected feedback from members of the public who had been offended.

In the ad, animals are shown to look forward to death at the hands of hunters if it means they get to ride on the back of a Hilux.

Toyota was at pains to point out all the animals were CGI.

Toyota was at pains to point out all the animals were CGI.

If you wish to see the offending advert, you can watch it here.

Managing director and chief executive officer Alistair Davis said the company apologised for the offence caused. “We’ve listened and we’ll stop screening the ad. The public and in particular Toyota’s customers are the cornerstone of our business and we’ve been closely monitoring the ad’s response and felt the groundswell of detractors was growing.”

Toyota said the animals portrayed in the latest Hilux advertisement were regularly and sustainably hunted and fished except for the possum, which was a familiar pest.

Whitebait that wriggle and talk in the Toyota ad.

What Fresh Hell Is This?

What do you call a war waged on unarmed opponents?  Considering the rate and frequency of shooting I’m hearing out there now, there’s a massacre going on. If the victims being slain were human, it would be called mass murder. A pre-dawn ambush. All-out insanity. Evil incarnate.

But to the hunters on opening day annihilating ducks and geese, it’s tradition; harvesting nature; business as usual.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Someone must have signaled “charge” to an entire platoon waiting to attack at dawn, and a mindless barrage of semi-automatic shotgun fire shattered the morning air. Now it’s 7:30 a.m. and only the random explosions break the stillness. The blitzkrieg has been going on steadily for over forty-five minutes—since before first light (sunrise today is officially at 7:35, according to the NOAA weather radio).

I wasn’t sure if the “enemy,” no, “opponent,” no, victims were the elk herd who occasionally visit the neighbor’s hayfield, the stray black-tail deer who keep themselves mostly out of sight around here for fear of poachers, or the ducks and geese who are starting to gather on their customary wintering grounds. Judging by the constant rapid gun fire, the victims must be the “waterfowl” whose “season” started today.

What fresh hell is this? Armageddon for avian kind? Or just another opening day for sport hunters?

Man killed by father in hunting accident in eastern Oregon

http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/33592613-75/sheriff-man-killed-by-father-in-hunting-accident-in-eastern-oregon.html.csp

MEACHAM — Umatilla County Sheriff’s officials say a man has died after his father apparently shot him while the two were deer hunting.

The East Oregonian reported 47-year-old David Joseph Branze of Gresham was hunting with his father, Louis Neil Branze, and at least two others Wednesday when one of them called to report an accidental shooting.

Deputies say they responded and learned that 76-year-old Louis Branze of Seaside had fired a shot at a deer and apparently struck and killed David Branze. No other members of the hunting party witnessed the incident.

Search and rescue teams found the body, which was in a steep, rugged area. Sheriff Terry Rowan says the two had hunted in the area for about 40 years.

Deputies are investigating.

382304_10150410245381489_1896442457_n

Oregon town seeks solutions to droves of fearless deer

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/22/us-usa-oregon-deer-idUSKCN0RM2UO20150922

Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:14pm EDT

PORTLAND, Ore. A town in southern Oregon will hold a public meeting to discuss how to deal with droves of fearless deer that wander the streets, occasionally acting aggressively toward residents, state wildlife officials said on Tuesday.

The “Deer Summit 2015” will be chaired on Wednesday by Ashland Mayor John Stromberg as part of efforts to address deer that have stalked people, pawed at them with their hooves and even stomped on small dogs.

“The deer have no fear of humans,” said Mark Vargas, District Wildlife Biologist for the382304_10150410245381489_1896442457_n Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The confident deer are a product of a long tradition in the town of 21,000 people of feeding and befriending them, Vargas said.

For the last two or three decades, the black tailed deer have been known to roam into yards and stroll the downtown area of Ashland, which lies in the heavily forested foothills of the Siskiyou and Cascade Mountains.

“Deer just live there,” Vargas said. “They live amongst all the people and when that happens there’s going to be conflict.”

Stromberg said on the city’s website that he wants to hear from community members with ideas about what to do.

The mayor could not be reached for comment on Tuesday, but city officials have urged residents not to feed the deer, and to put up deer fencing or deer resistant plants.

In a statement, the officials said a recent attack on a homeowner by a deer protecting its fawn was a reminder that locals share their community with all manner of wildlife.

“No matter how cute and seemingly domesticated, these are wild creatures.  Their behaviors are unpredictable,” they said on the city’s website.

Vargas said there is no easy solution. Giving the does birth control would be costly and ineffective, he said, and one would have to kill between 40 and 50 deer a year to have an impact that way. Trapping and moving them would just transfer the problem to another community, as the deer have become acclimated to city life, he said.

Vargas encourages people to stop feeding the deer and to yell or make loud noises if they enter their yard.

“In reality we encourage folks, look don’t feed the deer,” he said. “They don’t need food. They don’t need water. If you can, don’t even be friends with them.”