In late 2000, Wheelin' Sportsmen NWTF became an official outreach program of the National Wild Turkey Federation. Our mission is to provide all people with disabilities opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. NWTF chapters host Wheelin' Sportsmen events across North America that help participants gain a sense of independence by learning to stay active in the outdoors on their own in between Wheelin' Sportsmen events. Event participants can enjoy activities like hunting, fishing and shooting. In addition to local chapter events, Wheelin' Sportsmen hosts an assortment of other national events.
In 2001, under the guidance of our first volunteer State Coordinator George Homan, the Virginia Wheelin’ Sportsmen(VAWS) program was created. In our first year VAWS hosted two events, and with the help of our local NWTF Chapters and many dedicated volunteers, state agencies, and private landowners, our program has experienced tremendous growth. We are currently holding over 40 events annually for our disabled sportsmen here in Virginia. We work closely with the Va Dept. of Game & Inland Fisheries to provide us with assistance, equipment and resources for our events. Our agency partners currently hosting events are:
Va. Dept. of Conservation & Recreation: Shenandoah River, Lake Anna, and Staunton River State Parks
Va. Dept. of Aging & Rehab. Services: Wilson Workforce and Rehab. Center
Va. Dept. of Forestry: Matthews State Forest, New Kent Forestry Center
VAWS continues to be the largest and most active Wheelin’ Sportsmen program in the country. With roughly 400 members and hosting over 40 events statewide annually, no other state even comes close. While we have worked hard and are proud of our accomplishments, we are not resting on our laurels. We are continually searching for new participants, ranging from youth and adults with physical disabilities, to our wounded veterans returning from service. Our events are open to anyone with a disability and we never charge you to participate. If you have a disability, or have a friend or family member with a disability, and would like to participate in our events, please contact me at the information below. Please help us spread the word of our exciting program. Keep up to date on our Upcoming Events below, and be sure to follow us on Facebook.
With the help of our local NWTF chapters, dedicated volunteers, and our many supporters, we will continue to provide more, and better, opportunities for persons with disabilities throughout the Commonwealth! Additionally, we are always looking to develop exciting new opportunities for our participants. We have local NWTF chapters throughout the state that can provide volunteers, and all the gear and resources necessary to host such an event. And there’s no risk to you as all of our events are covered under our $2 million liability umbrella. If you would like to discuss providing us with a hunting or fishing opportunity, regardless of how big or small, please contact me, or one of our Hunt Coordinators below. Thank you for your support, and look for great things to happen with VAWS this year!