Let's stay in touch! Become a TOI Member to get all of the benefits of The Outdoor Insiders' Network. It's free!
Joshua Carney/ T11 Paraplegic
The purpose of this letter is to let people know that through prayer, hard work and determination a disabled person can accomplish anything.
Let me tell u a little about myself I grew up in the woods of Louisiana (sportsman Louisiana) since I was 3 years old. On August 17, 2005, at the age of 13, I was in a turkey hunting accident and was shot accidently by my father. I spent months in the hospital and when I was released I went right back to the woods because I enjoy it so much. I'm a 23 year old paraplegic now who still enjoys archery competitions, hunting, fishing and outdoor activities. But now it’s just more of a challenge. Most wouldn't have had the courage, drive and determination to get back up and do most of the things I do. But it didn’t come easy. I had to find ways to do all things I once loved; it became a fun challenge. Being wheelchair bound limits me to what I can do and shoot. Everyone wanted me to get a crossbow but I chose to shoot a compound bow. At first it was difficult for me to shoot a compound bow but I found different ways to do it because it was a fierce passion of mine. Today I take peoples comments that I can't do certain things because of my disability as a challenge and I tell them watch me do it. If I can't do it I'm going to die trying and accomplish it no matter what or how long it takes. When I tell my story, I always tell individuals to put yourself in my situation for a day and watch people walk by shooting at these events, hunting and take simple things for granted. At competition bow events or regular hunting scenarios, I have to work twice as hard just to get around the course and into the woods but I do it because I feel as if God has given me a second chance at life and my determination allows me to shoot/hunt just as good or better than most people who aren’t disabled.
After my accident I got involved with organizations that help disabled individuals to get back into the outdoors. These groups gave me the confidence and support to continue my passion today. As of today, I am the marketing advisor for Trinity Outdoors Disabled Adventures a 501c3 nonprofit organization. I have also been able to produce a deer supplement named Bonezone. This product adds nutrional supplements to an area to help increase deer size and herd development.
As I continue to be highly involved in these organizations, I have realized that I can continue to contribute encouragement, life, and guidance to other disabled hunters through my words and testimony. It is a daily passion of mine and the organizations I am with to continue to give back to those who may be experiencing similar situations or difficulties.