ST MARYS, Ohio (AP) — Another man's stint in a wheelchair led to Nelson Rupard's first hunt in 12 years.

Rupard, a quadriplegic since an Army motorcycle accident, dropped an 8 point buck during last month's Ohio deer gun season.

His dream of again hunting the fields of Auglaize County, where he grew up, was fulfilled because of a wood cutting accident to a member of the Northwest Ohio Chapter of Safari Club International.

William Metzer, a retired electrical lineman, was injured in the leg July 5 and had to use a wheelchair for five weeks.

He sufficiently healed to go to the Northwest Territories to hunt mountain caribou and while there realized how fortunate he was.

'I was astounded by the beauty of the nature. I realized from my five weeks using the wheelchair that people who were disabled for life could not get to see and experience the things I was doing, and decided to try to do a little something about it,' Metzer said.

Returning home to St. Marys, he started mapping a plan to help disabled people hunt.

He approached a landowner of 500 acres that had been closed to hunting for 15 years and received permission to allow the hunt.

He enlisted the help of the Safari Club, which agreed to provide licensed hunters to assist. Ohio law says a nonhunter who is licensed and wearing orange must accompany a disabled hunter.

Metzer spent the rest of the summer putting up fliers around western Ohio's Auglaize County.

Rupard saw one of the fliers and called his lifelong friend Joe Voisin. 'I told him I'd see what I could find out about the hunt and if he wanted to go, I'd help him,' Voisin said.

Voisin built a deer stand in the back of Rupard's specially equipped van and helped him hold and aim the gun. 'I gave him my 50-caliber muzzleloader to use as I thought the recoil would be a bit less,' Voisin said.

They saw 18 deer on the opening day of the season but couldn't get a shot because of the wind and their distance, he said.

The next day a deer walked out of the woods and stopped about 65 yards from Rupard's van. With Voisin helping aim the gun, Rupard peered into the scope and took a shot.

'Being a muzzleloader, and shooting from inside the van, it took awhile for the smoke to clear,' Rupard said. 'But when it did, I asked Joe if I hit anything and he said, 'Well, there's a deer down out there.'

Voisin and Metzer dragged the buck back to an emotional Rupard.

'I got a deer tag every year since the accident but never got to go, and to see that deer after wanting to hunt so badly, it just was too much for me,' Rupard said.

Voisin said he has been hunting 25 years and never had a moment like that. 'There was not a dry eye in the place, to see Nelson so happy was the high point of my life,' he said.

Metzer said Rupard was the lone hunter to kill a deer but overall the group saw 48 deer. The property owner and the city of St. Marys, which owned some of the land used, have agreed to allow the hunt again next year.

'We had some terminally ill people call and want to go this year but never had the chance to make it, so I hope we can bring some smiles and memories to some people again next year,' Metzer said.

Rupard is having his deer mounted and said he wants to hunt again next year.