Chad Waligura: Able Outdoors 

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely, or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature, and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be…” – Anne Frank

That quote has been on the front page of my Follow Me Outdoors site ever since I first read it. Seemed to me like it exposed a simple truth of what my life as a disabled hunter has always been about, and also what I’d like Disabled Sportsman Magazine to be built around.

Growing up in a small town on the Texas gulf coast, I fell in love with the outdoors when I was nearly 12 years old when my dad took me duck hunting the first time. From that day on, I knew it would be a part of my life forever.

When I was paralyzed at 17 during the summer of 1986 after diving into a pool, it was the one thing I knew I could never give up. Three months later, I was back in the woods with my dad learning how to hunt again. Eighteen years after that, Buckmasters’ American Deer Foundation voted me Challenged Hunter of the Year. And in 2010, Safari Club International chose me for their Pathfinder Award!

It wasn’t long after my accident that I began writing for my website anytime I had a successful hunt or stumbled across an interesting story. That was the beginning of my outdoor writing career. Since then, I’ve been published in mainstream magazines like Rack Magazine, King’s Hunting Illustrated, Eastman’s Hunting Journal, Horizontal Bowhunter Magazine, UFFDA Magazine, Turkey & Turkey Hunting magazine, the African Hunting Gazette and Universal Hunter. 

Chad Waligura with a Turkey

All the while, I’ve been going afield wing-shooting and big game hunting across the United States and on 3 different continents, so far. I started writing as a way to chronicle some of my trips and provide an information source for anyone who might be looking to get back into the outdoors the way I did. And now I’ve discovered that there are amazing stories from people all across this country that need to be told. That’s really why we created Able Outdoors.

Also, some of the same problems I faced after I was paralyzed still exist today, and being able to find all the info you need about disabled outdoors in one place is how we’re going to solve those problems. Able Outdoors will fill that void.

Chad Waligura with a fosh

We want to tell the stories from other challenged outdoorsmen & women who would otherwise never have the chance to be published in mainstream media. We believe they need to be told. We are going to tell them. My job will be to find these stories and bring them to you, to pool all the info I can on adaptive equipment and outdoor opportunities across the country, and to have something to offer every person who picks up a copy of our magazine.

As editor of AO, my primary duty will be to make sure the product we put out will be as informative as it is entertaining. We want to cover every area of disabled outdoors possible and I will be in charge of that direction. Naturally, we will focus on hunting & fishing, but a constant variety of topics will be the current that pushes our boat. I really look forward to telling the world about all of these people. I hope you will enjoy getting to know them.

Chad Waligura with a deer
Chad Waligura with birds
Chad Waligura with a gun