Group provides hunting opportunity for disabled children - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Group provides hunting opportunity for disabled children

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December 19, 2005

Albany--About 1.5 million Americans have some form of autism. It's a disability that makes verbal communication and social interaction with others difficult. Today one organization made a dream come true for one boy who lives with the disability.

"We're going to aim the gun out into the field," says Stan Okon. It's not everyday that JohnScott Okon and his father get to venture out into the woods and fire a rifle out into the open air in search of wild game while keeping the following in mind.

"Be safe, have fun, and shoot a deer," says JohnScott Okon.

As the 10-year-old explores nature and tracks through briars and tall grass, he doesn't let autism ruin his adventure.

"How fun was it? Great!" says JohnScott. This is JohnScott's first time deer hunting all thanks to Buckmasters American Deer Foundation.

"They've done a great thing here, setting us up to get out and have him shoot his first deer," says JohnScott's father.

The non-profit organization provides hunting opportunities for hunter's living with disabilities and for that, JohnScott's father is grateful.

"I deer hunt myself, the opportunity isn't there to take children, let alone, handicapped children," says Stan Okon.

Buckmasters provided JohnScott with his hunting apparel as well as a place to hunt, away from his everyday life.

"It gets him out in front of the TV, and gets him outside, that's where we want him," says Stan Okon.

Even though, this is JohnScott's first time out into the woods in search of that perfect twelve point, he has no regrets.

"I was brave instead," says JohnScott. He says he looks forward to his next hunting adventure.

If you know a child with a disability who would like to participate in one of Buckmaster's special hunts call the organization at 229-344-6831.

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