Twenty-six year old Michael Timpa does not let his handicap keep him from spending time on the water and in the woods. The Lake Charles resident, born with spina bifida, had grown somewhat tired of duck hunting and wanted to move his hunting experiences up a notch to deer hunting.
On January 11, Timpa not only moved it a notch; he put it through the roof when he downed a monster 9 point buck with an eye-popping 29 ¼ inch inside spread.
Timpa is paralyzed from the waist down and is confined to a wheelchair. He was put in touch with the Wheelin' Sportsman organization under the umbrella of the National Wild Turkey Federation. This organization makes it possible for hunters with a handicap to continue to enjoy the outdoors.
His dad and uncle took him on several deer hunts to their lease south of DeRidder and also to Alabama and Texas to deer hunt; he bagged his first deer, a doe, in Alabama and first buck in Texas.
"I applied for and was selected for a handicapped deer hunt on the Tensas National Wildlife Refuge nine years ago. I've been going back up there to hunt with the Wheelin' Sportsman folks ever since," Timpa continued.
Timpa joined a group of 13 hunters January 10 for a deer hunt that weekend. After getting all their instructions and safety information, each hunter and guide was transported to individual blinds, all of which are handicapped-accessible and are manufactured by Antler Shed Blinds and donated by the Louisiana Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation.
"I feel blessed that my paralysis is from the waist down. Once I get in the blind and get situated, I'm able to handle my gun like someone without a handicap," he said.
"I could begin making out objects out from my stand by 6:45, using my range finder, when a deer stepped out at 200 yards. Grass on the clearing out in front of the stand was probably 3 feet high and I could see the deer's back and head. When I saw his rack. I put the range finder aside and grabbed my rifle," said Timpa.
The buck was walking at a brisk clip, covering 100 yards in less than a minute. Fortunately, the buck was walking at an angle toward Timpa and when he got to about the 100 yard mark, Timpa put the crosshairs on his 300 Win-mag bolt action on the deer's vitals and squeezed the trigger.
"He ran about 25 yards and dropped. I knew he was big but had no idea his rack was like this," Timpa added.
The rack was indeed something to behold. Sporting nine-points and heavy mass the buck, later rough scored at 160, had mind-boggling space between his antlers, stretching the tape to 29 ¼ inches. The buck, determined to be 5 ½ years old, weighed 200 pounds.
Timpa has high praise for the Wheelin' Sportsman organization, especially the volunteers, led by a couple who work so hard to make the experience a special one. Steve Chamberlain is Wheelin' Sportsman Coordinator and his wife, Shelley, serves as Volunteer Coordinator of the Full Time Wheelchair User Hunt held at Tensas National Wildlife Refuge.
"I was supposed to guide Michael that morning," Shelley said. "However at the last minute we found another guide so I could remain at HQ in case I was needed as coordinator. I sure hate I wasn't there; I'm not sure he would have done as well," she laughed, "because I don't think I could have been still and quiet when that brute walked out."
Glynn Harris Outdoors is proudly sponsored by DSK, Ltd. of Minden.