You are currently viewing Quadriplegic hunter shoots for Deerstalkers
Elliott Keys, centre, with his dad Mike Keys, left, TVDA life member Mike Deane, and best mate Dale McGuire. Photos: SUPPLIED

Quadriplegic hunter shoots for Deerstalkers

A target to continue his passion for the great outdoors despite his disability loaded Elliott Keys to join Thames Valley Deerstalkers Association just north of Paeroa in 2016.
The 23-year-old Mount Maunganui resident told The Profile he decided to participate in a hunting course for a gun licence with Thames Valley Deerstalkers Association [TVDA] after he received specialised hunting equipment to cater for his disability.
“I grew up shooting guns with my grandfather Tony and always loved the idea of hunting but never really had the opportunity to get into it before my accident,” he said.
“I had a mountain biking accident in 2014 and I am a C4 quadriplegic or tetraplegic, I’m paralysed from the neck down.
“My uncle Matt found a company in America [Be Adaptive Equipment] that makes specialised shooting mounts for disabled people so we bought one of those into New Zealand.”
Elliott said the mount included two motors to move the rifle and control the joystick, and special technology was used to pull the trigger.
“We have a bull bar on the front of the Polaris [off-road vehicle] and it sits on top of the bull bar, and then I have the joystick inside the Polaris to be able to move it in the passenger seat,” he said.
“I have a camera system which looks down the scope for me and then just bluetooth to my iPad or my phone so I can see down the scope, and then someone just needs to load the gun for me.
“[The trigger] is a rubber tube and it uses what’s called sit and pump technology. They’ve got a little sensor inside it that when I sit on the tube it sends a signal to the mechanism that pulls the trigger and then bang.”

The rifle on the Polaris.

Elliott said he had used his specialised equipment to shoot targets, deer, pigs, and goats and for pest control shooting rabbits and possums in the Tokoroa area. “[The farmers are] very nice and very accommodating to let me on to their property to shoot,” he said.

Elliott said TVDA was also accommodating for his hunting ambitions.
“They didn’t care about my disability, they were open to trying new things which is very excellent of them so we decided to go with them over the one in Tauranga,” he said.
“They’ve been very accepting, they’re very respectful and all of the members are very friendly and have helped me in different ways teaching me skills.
“[With my specialised equipment] I was able to shoot better than everybody else, they wanted to take it off me after the first week because I out-shot all of them.”