Greg Traynor is proof positive that there is nothing to limiting after a SCI. Photo Traynor.
Sportsmen and women with disabilities are no longer sidelined due to their injuries thanks to one innovative man.
What’s a sportsman to do after sustaining a spinal-cord injury? For many, it’s the end of communing with the great outdoors – or so it would seem.
Greg Traynor thought that very thing after being injured in a diving accident more than 12 years ago. The Pennsylvania resident was enjoying an outing with friends in Cape Cod, when he dove into waist-high water, breaking his neck at C4/5.
“It's a complete injury,” says Traynor. “I have movement in both arms, but nothing in my triceps.” Traynor also has limited feeling mid-bicep and has no finger or hand movement.
Prior to his accident, he worked as a senior field auditor for Payless shoes and was an avid hunter from an early age, enjoying the magnificent landscapes of West Virginia, New York, Kansas, and Pennsylvania, to name a few. “After my injury it took me several years to get physically strong enough to hunt again,” says Traynor. “The desire was always there, but physically it took a long time.”
After his rehabilitation the urge to return to his sport was as strong as ever, which started him on the quest to find accessible hunting organizations specifically for power wheelchair users. Not surprisingly, he was hard pressed to locate anything that suited his needs, and he set off to establish a resource specifically aimed with wheelchair users in mind.
In 2010, Traynor founded Accessible Hunter, a website and blog of directories of organizations and groups from across the country that offer accessible hunting outings and events. His site also provides information on assistive technology and adaptive equipment for hunters in wheelchairs.
“I do product reviews that are honest and straightforward,” says Traynor. “I try to be a global resource for any disabled hunter, provide videos that show me hunting and shooting, and recently fishing, to hopefully provide the motivation needed for newly injured individuals.”
Traynor recently started an online store featuring clothing and accessories bearing the Accessible Hunter logo. “I feel it's important for individuals with disabilities to see other successful hunters and be able to wear a logo that represents the disabled hunting community,” says Traynor.
For Traynor, it’s about enjoying the outdoors and the people who thrive there. He hopes Accessible Hunter will be a valuable resource for all disabled hunters.
“I am thankful to the many people who helped me get back into hunting,” says Traynor. “Chris and Tina from Dreams Become Reality, the Western Penn. Wounded Warrior group, and the Whitetail Management Associates of Greater Pittsburgh are just a few who have guided my return.”