r Whether you’re 12 or 54, life in a wheelchair obviously has its challenges and even more so if you want to go fishing. To provide wheelchair access for fishing the Utah Chairbound Sportsman Organization arranged for a pontoon boat that accommodates wheelchairs. A special fishing trip to Strawberry Reservoir took place on Saturday, June 9, for a special group of physically challenged people. The morning of the trip weather could not have been better and it was going to be a great day.
A 35’ pontoon boat, Freedoms Dream, belongs to a companion organization to the Chairbound Sportsman, a group known as Hand to Hand Outdoors/American Heroes. The Captain of this boat was Brent Croxford, and his 1st mate was his son. Brent spends the entire summer in his camper at Strawberry and offers fishing trips 6 days a week for veterans, wounded warriors, and disabled persons by reservation. Brent said he knows where the fish are and that proved to be true because the fish limit for the boat was caught by 11:10.
The youngster on the boat was 12-year-old Missy Cowley who is in a wheelchair because of SBifidaifida, a birth defect. She had an amazing experience and caught the first fish of the day and the most fish for any individual. Her father and mother where on the fishing trip with her. Missy is an aspiring sportsman and has passed her Utah State Hunter Safety Course and is looking forward to joining the Chairbound Sportsman for a turkey hunt or a Corsican ram sheep hunt.
Fifty-four-year-old Clint Robinson rode rodeo for 7 years before he broke his neck at the age of 23. This was his third fishing trip with the Chairbound Sportsman. Clint caught his share of fish and he is looking forward to the next fishing trip he can go on. He is also looking forward to a Chairbound Sportsman hunting trip. It is a pretty amazing group of people that put these handicapped sporting events together.
Also on this special fishing trip was 15-year-old Dallas Gilbert-Branin who has Duchene Muscular Dystrophy. Dallas’s mother and two sisters joined him on the fishing trip. All of them caught their share of fish and contributed to the joy of this beautiful day. Dallas and volunteer Todd Lobato cleaned most of the 48 fish brought back to the dock. Kenneth Vaughn of the Chairbound Sportsman had made sandwiches with all the accessories for everyone to have a great lunch. Several prizes were given out and young Missy Cowley received two of them for the first fish caught and the most fish caught. Another great day sponsored by the Chairbound Sportsman Organization.
For more information about how you can become involved with the Chairbound Sportsman checkout their website at www.chairboundsportsman.org or their Face book page.