September 25, 2011 in Outdoors

Disabled hunters can apply to ride gated roads

By The Spokesman-Review
Map of this story's location
Disabled hunting programs

Washington contacts include:

• Colville National Forest, (509) 446-7500. Hunters also can sign up at the BLM & Colville National Forest Information Desk, 1103 N. Fancher in Spokane Valley.

• Forest Capital Partners timber company has designated areas in Stevens County with access coordinated by Inland Northwest Wildlife Council, (509) 487-8552.

Idaho contacts include:

• Coeur d’Alene River Ranger District in Fernan, (208) 783-2363.

• Sandpoint Ranger District, (208) 263-5111.

• Bonners Ferry Ranger District, (208) 267-5561.

• Craig Mountain Wildlife Area on the Snake River, coordinated by state Fish and Game, (208) 799-5010.

Handicapped hunters in the Inland Northwest are making inroads to decent hunting opportunities on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests as well the Colville National Forest and two timberland companies.

Deadlines are approaching to sign up for several of the opportunities to drive motorized vehicles behind otherwise locked gates.

Hunters with certified disabilities can apply for access to hundreds of miles of otherwise closed roads on the Colville National Forest and Idaho Panhandle forests as well as Forest Capital Partners lands.

Inland Empire Paper Company also participates, although the road access is not exclusive to handicapped hunters.

The program allows hunters with disabilities to use a motorized vehicle on the designated roads, which are usually closed to motorized use year-round.

Special platforms are being built at selected sites by Inland Northwest Wildlife Council volunteers to support hunters in wheelchairs.

The Sandpoint Ranger District holds a drawing to select disabled hunters for special access behind gates on three roads during big-game seasons. The deadline to apply is Wednesday.

The Coeur d’Alene River District’s deadline to apply for access to roads is Friday.

Generally, hunters must provide a copy of their disabled hunting license and handicapped vehicle hunting permit, make, model and year of the vehicle to be used, and the name of the hunting assistant.

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