TERMINALLY ILL CHILDREN GIVEN HUNTING OPPORTUNITY – The Muley Fanatic Foundation is a non-profit organization that dedicates their time to involve terminally ill youth in hunting. Many of these children aspire to hunt, however, their disabilities may hinder their ability to do so without major assistance. The organization uses this concept of being a role model, as well as creating dream-come-true experiences for the children.
Noah Walters, a 20 year-old boy, is the only person diagnosed with Morquio Syndrome Type A in Mississippi. This disease compromises bone and spine growth and greatly impairs ones’ mobility. He also suffers from heart and respiratory conditions. Despite Noah’s condition, he killed his first Pronghorn in Wyoming this year due to assistance from the Muley Fanatic Foundation. According to his mother, Denise:
“A few years ago, Noah was dealing with some real depression, if he did not have hunting, I don’t know if he would still be with us.”
For Noah, and other youth taken on hunts, it has served as a way to enhance their quality of life. These terminally ill youth spend a large amount of their time receiving treatment, whether at the hospital or at their home. The opportunity to go hunting greatly increases their sense of pride and identity, and lets them “get away” from the exhaustion and frustration that their disease brings.
According to Cowboy State Daily, Wyoming wildlife regulations allow for a very limited portion of deer, pronghorn, elk, and turkey hunting licenses to be set aside for hunters with disabilities. The process for these youth to become eligible can be lengthy. Their doctors must give their assessment and testimony as to the health of the individual and if hunting is something they believe they can do. However, once given the green light, these terminally ill children are given an all-expense paid trip of a lifetime.
What are your thoughts on this program? Does your state offer any kind of assistance for hunters with disabilities?