SRNS provides disabled hunters opportunity to do what they love - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

SRNS provides disabled hunters opportunity to do what they love

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JACKSON, SC (WFXG) -

For Rex Lutz, hunting is about experiencing the beauty of the world around him.

"When the sun comes up, before the sun comes up, listen to the world wake up. Or stay out there until it all turns around," he explains. "If you never go out and experience it, you don't know what you're missing."

An outdoorsman since childhood, Rex now struggles to get out where he loves. 

He's battled Multiple Sclerosis for 20 years now, and the crippling disease has taken its toll.

"I have a walker and I have a wheelchair," he says. "You use the one you need today."

But this weekend, MS wasn't stopping Rex from getting outside to go hunt. He even got himself a kill.

"I said, 'I had all these shells for nothing. I only needed one,'" he laughs.

Rex was one of 25 physically disabled hunters taking part in the 12th Annual SRNS Mobility Impaired Deer Hunt at the Savannah River Ecology Lab.

And for hunters like Rex with disabilities, this may be the only chance they have to get out and do what they love this season. That's why this event is so special to them.

"Not a lot of people would put the effort together or the time into it to help people get this opportunity," Rex says, grateful tears beginning to stream down his face.

"They don't have a lot of opportunities to pursue something that they enjoy," says SRNS Deer Hunt Manager Ed Spears. "We've been fortunate that we can offer them that event."

The hunt itself kills two birds with one stone, providing the hunters an experience while also helping to control the deer population at SRS.

"It's a part of what has to be done to maintain a healthy population for future generations," says Wheelin' Sportsman Program Coordinator Randy Green.

And for Rex and the rest of the hunters, Saturday's experience is one they're thankful for, and one they won't soon forget.

"It doesn't mean the world, but it means a lot," Rex says.

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