The North Carolina General Assembly and Wildlife Resources Commission have worked cooperatively to expand opportunities for persons with disabilities to participate in hunting, fishing and other related outdoor activities. In keeping with the intent and spirit of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), great strides have been made towards providing reasonable access and opportunities for hunters and anglers. Currently, North Carolina has one of the more progressive programs in the United States for sportsmen with disabilities. This effort is directed towards assisting access to favorable game and fish areas, allowing the use of equipment designed to overcome specific disabilities, and to encourage persons with disabilities to take advantage of the state's hunting and fishing opportunities. The Commission strongly urges any person with a disability that has a question or an interest in hunting and fishing to contact:
Disabled Access Program
N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission
1722 Mail Service Center
Raleigh NC 27699
For the purpose of this publication, reference to the terms disabled, handicapped and accessibility are used as follows. Official titles of programs are used without change, i.e., "Disabled Access Program" or "Disabled Sportsman Program." In referring to individuals, "persons with disabilities" is used. The term "handicapped" is used in conjunction with designated parking spaces to be consistent with wording used in state regulations. When "accessible" is used, it means that the fishing pier, trail, restrooms, etc., are accessible to persons with disabilities.
The Disabled Access Program and the Disabled Sportsman Program form the foundation for the Commission's efforts to provide access and increased opportunities for persons with disabilities. The programs have different objectives. One is designed to improve access (with landowner agreement) on game lands. The other implements legislative requirements enacted by the 1993 General Assembly by providing permit hunts for persons with disabilities.
This program allows persons with limited physical mobility to operate vehicles on open-gated or designated roads on certain game lands otherwise closed to vehicular traffic. Participants are issued permanent identification cards, companion cards and vehicular access permits, valid as long as their disability persists. The vehicular access permit must be displayed in the passenger area of the vehicle. One able-bodied person, carrying the "Companion Card," may accompany the person with the disability. The companion must remain in visual or verbal contact with the hunter at all times. There is no charge for this program.
Competent medical evidence substantiating a physical mobility disability that makes normal utilization of game lands impossible without vehicular assistance.
Game Land Areas Involved
See current Game Lands maps or Map Book for details.
You may contact the License Section at 1-888-2HUNTFISH (1-888-248-6834) to obtain a copy of the Crossbow Permit Nongame Fishing Application.