Saturday, February 4th, 2023
Saturday, February 4th, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

Ruling: State must stop wolf kill

Work recognized

Christensen’s work has not gone unnoticed. Babe Winkelman
Productions learned of him through a friend. Now, Christensen is
the disabled sportsperson’s coordinator for Babe Winkelman Dream
Trips, a booking organization for outfitters.

The alliance has expanded Dream Trips offerings for disabled
adventurers, and it has expanded the list of outfitters that have
been screened firsthand.

Christensen finds his work gives meaning to his life. He has
worked to make men of boys at the Alternative Learning Center in
Siren, Wis., and then at Northwest Passage. However, MS kept
progressing and “it got too tough to go in and do that,” he
said.

“There has to be some point to life,” he said, “so I thought I
could do this. I love working with hunters all over the world.

“In Dream Trips, we check out the outfitters from every
direction. I try to find problems. We don’t rely on references.
They’re only going to give you the good ones, anyway. We talk to
other people who have actually been there.”

One of those outfitters, a 24-year-old man in South Dakota, is
particularly remarkable and well suited for guiding disabled
hunters. The man was bucked off a horse at the age of 17 and has
been paralyzed from the neck down ever since. He drives his
wheelchair with his mouth.

Illness advances

Meanwhile, Christensen’s MS continues to advance. In some cases,
MS goes into periods of remission. Christensen said his MS has
forgotten about the remission part. Since 1997 when he was first
diagnosed, it has just continued to attack him.

Still, he considers himself fortunate. The ailment has not
affected his brain. “Last year was the last time I could climb into
my bow stand.” he said. Realizing he wasn’t going to be able to do
that, he built two stand houses with ramps for his wheelchair or
scooter. He loves spending hours just watching the animals there on
his foot plot, even when he’s not hunting.

“I’ll go out for a half hour and suddenly realize I’ve been
there four hours,” he said.

He’s quick to say he doesn’t get everything done himself. His
wife, LeAnn, is the technology coordinator for the Webster School
District and helped him set up the web site. “None of this would be
possible without her help,” he said.

Riley, 16, and his daughter Beth, 13, are his hands and helpers.
They’re also his hunting partners. Of their hunting successes, he
said, “I’ve never been that excited when I shot a deer myself.”

Christensen’s been a taxidermist since he was 11. He still is.
The difference is that LeAnn, Riley, and Beth are his hands.

Seeks to inspire

A review of Christensen’s web site reveals a wide variety of
devices people can use to allow them to pursue their sports. Some
he has used, others he has not. He lets the viewer know if he has
personal knowledge of a device.

His biggest hope, however, is that he inspires men and women
with physical challenges to think creatively to allow themselves to
do the things they love to do. Just because an adaptive device
won’t work for them the way it is, he urges them to think of ways
they might be able to change it and put it to use.

Expense for adaptive devices can be an issue; many of the
devices he finds are priced from $400 to $1,200. But with some
creativity, alternatives can be found or developed for much
less.

The internet has information about adaptive devices, the places
for disabled people to hunt and fish, and the special rules
pertaining to disabled people, Christensen said. The problem is
that it can take days, maybe weeks, to find all that
information.

Christensen has done that homework for disabled people who want
to pursue their sport.

Christensen’s web site is at
www.spacestar.net/users/dchriste.

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