Minnesota Bound: Veterans return to great outdoors

AVON, Minn. - Twenty disabled veterans in Minnesota recently returned to the great outdoors, thanks to a new tool that allows them to hunt, with ease.

Roger Illies and Randy Falknor never thought they'd hunt again after being injured while away at war. Recently though, near Avon, the veterans were out hunting for pheasants.

"We're doing a European hunt here and the king would take out his royalty on a pheasant hunt," said Keith Sand with Pine Pheasant Preserve. "They wouldn't like to walk a lot so they would release the pheasants out to the middle of the woods. Today we're treating these veterans as kings and royalty."

The hunt was made possible by an innovative product called the Action TrackChair.

"These guys have went out and literally risked life and limb for our country and so what we're doing with the Action Trackchair is trying to get these guys back out there," said Rick Frye, with Action TrackChair.

The Trackchair opens the door to more of the outdoors for disadvantaged people.

"The Action Trackchair is basically a wheel chair-based setting and then you have tracks like a skid loader," said Frye. "You control the chair by this joy stick here, so it's just like operating a video game. What's nice about the chair, is it will stand you straight up."

The Trackchair was invented in Marshall after Jim Swenson's son was paralyzed in a car accident. Swenson wanted to help his son and others who use wheelchairs be able to get outdoors.

"I started bending some metal and fabricating and welding and we built our first Trackchair in 2008," said Swenson.


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