Wheelchair Hunting Opportunities in Northern NY:

Opportunities for a hunter who is wheelchair-bound are quite limited. This is true whether it's a power chair or a manual chair. Handihelp has several pages on a number of different ways to adapt the Deadshot Treepod, which costs around $150, to Four-Wheel-Drive Chairs, regular power chair and Manual Wheelchairs. Still, you must have an accessible area where you can go and hunt.


In northern New York there are now at least two places that are designed especially for hunters who are in wheelchairs. One area is maintained by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and the other, while located on the Fort Drum Military Installation, is available for use by disabled civilians as well as military personnel. Both have trails designed for wheelchairs and spots were Portable Blinds can easily be set up.


NYS Department of Environmental Conservation:

Upper and Lower Lakes Wildlife Management Unit:"is a large developed wetland complex lying between the Grasse River and the Oswegatchie River. This 8757 acre area is located 3 miles west of the village of Canton and 12 miles east of the city of Ogdensburg. The village of Rensselear Falls is on the western edge of the WMA, adjacent to the refuge and Indian Creek Nature Center. It is bounded on four sides by public roads: State Route 68, Irish Settlement Road, County Road 14, and County Road 15."*


Two sepatate trails have been constructed of packed stone dust, which creates a solid surface, with each trail leading to two blinds. The DEC will be setting up a couple snow fence blinds in the future, but for now a hunter will  need a portable blind. The firm, stable path only extends to the blind site, the terrain is rough and sometimes wet/thick with vegetation and the blind pad is elevated.  No one should have any misconceptions about access off from the route and pads. If your disability would prevent you from safely leaving the trail you need a hunting partner to e with you.


"Upper and Lower Lakes WMA features include accessible parking along the county road, a 600 foot long trail suitable for use with mobility devices and an accessible blind for waterfowl viewing and hunting opportunities. The covered blind is painted to blend in with the edge of the cattail marsh, large enough for 2 people and a dog and has a dog door and ramp which a dog can use to retrieve game. The accessible hunting blind is close to the Village of Rensselear Falls. One can get there from US HWY 11, one mile north of Dekalb Junction, turn north west onto County Route 15, and continue on County Route 15 for approximately 5 miles. Accessible parking is on the right hand side of the road."*

Map of Upper and Lower Lakes WMA

Fort Drum Military Installation:

"Fort Drum is open to the public and is Wildlife Management Unit 6H. A

recreation pass is required, but free of charge; all firearms must be

registered; and daily check-in is required via the telephone.


"There are special hunting opportunities on Fort Drum for persons possessing a NYS Non-Ambulatory Hunter Permit, persons with severe permanent disabilities eligible for a NYS Parking Permit or License Plate; or persons with a life-threatening illness participating through a non-profit organization. Contact Fort Drum’s Fish & Wildlife Management Program to register."*


Six sites are available and must be reserved ahead of time. All sites are open to archery and 3 also allow gun hunting. Gun usage is restricted to shotgun only. With a rifled choke sleeve shotgun are now quite accurate and have always been good in brushy areas. Once checked in returning to hunt requires only a phone call. More detailed information can be found in the pamphlet: Disabled Hunting Access Brochure 2015.

Map of Fort Drum sites

*Copied verbatim from website

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Disability hunting sign

End of trail on Upper and Lower Lakes WMU

Looking out beyond another trail end

A good look at one of WMU's trails

Trail leading to waterfowl blind

Waterfowl blind

Adjustable Gorilla Blind

Deadshot Treepod on manual wheelchair

Treepod mounted on a different manual chair

Hunting site on Fort Drum

Ghost or Mirror Blind

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