Accessible Hunting

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Steve Schlueter has been hunting for years. That might not seem like a big deal, but finding an accessible spot while using a wheelchair isn’t always easy.

Years ago, Steve used to participate in an annual event put on by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. There is an accessible recreation area located at Mark Twain Lake in Monroe City, Mo. On specific days, there are volunteers available to assist people with disabilities by transporting them to an accessible area to hunt turkeys.

Many people believe that once they acquire a spinal cord injury, they can no longer participate in the same activities that they did prior to becoming disabled. Steve was in his early 20s when he became a quadriplegic. A doctor told him he would never amount to anything and would eventually end up in a nursing home.

Steve was a very active man before his accident and rather than let this bring him down, he used it as motivation to do anything he wanted. He used a manual wheelchair for 15 years and even though he was exhausted and in pain, he persevered because he wanted to prove that doctor wrong.

Steve has worked at Costco for the past 12 years. When he isn’t working, he is busy maintaining his home in St. Charles.

Steve always has projects going on, whether taking care of the lawn or adding to the beautiful woodworking shop in his garage He now has a truck that’s been modified so he is able to drive.

Steve has encouraged others in the past who have been afraid of driving. He has encountered people who don’t have the physical capabilities that he does, so he’s chosen to be grateful and make the most of his life.

Carrie Schmitt is a Consumer Directed Services (CDS) Supervisor at Paraquad. She can be reached at cschmitt@paraquad.org.

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