Meet the staff of contributing writers to Able Outdoors.
Clay was born in May, 1978, with a congenital defect that left him with no legs and only half an arm on one side. He said it wasn’t until he was five years old that he became aware that he was different from other kids, and that awareness didn’t affect his spirit one bit (he swears that was a gift from God). In Clay’s mind, he was a normal boy and he was determined to live like one. He did as much as he could growing up, playing three sports and going outdoors to hunt & fish whenever he could with family and friends. The only adaptive device he used was a piece of string to hold the gun to his shoulder and to pull the trigger with.
United States Army, Retired
Founder and President,
Lone Star Warriors Outdoors
My name is Chris Gill, from Tyler, Texas. I spent 25 years in the Army, Army National Guard and finally the Army Reserves. I am currently the Founder and President of Lone Star Warriors Outdoors. This organization was created to reconnect the Wounded Warrior with the outdoors, or to introduce them to something new. We take warriors of all disabilities, and show them that they can do the same thing that others do, and have fun no matter what injuries they have. We are a new organization, created in 2011, so we are still working towards getting more ranches, ATV spots, or anything that is ADA compliant.
Motivational Speaker & Author
Co-Founder, Wyoming Disabled Hunters
Ashlee Lundvall was an active teenager and four-sport athlete when she was injured in a ranching accident in 1999 while attending a youth camp in Wyoming. A tragic fall on to the wooden handle of a pitchfork blew out her back at T-12, resulting in a complete spinal cord injury and the introduction of a wheelchair to her life. After returning home to Indiana to finish her rehabilitation, Ashlee graduated from IUPUI in 2005 with a BS in Public Affairs, and completed her graduate studies in Biblical Counseling in 2007.
Founder & President
Accessing Oregon, Inc
I am in my early 30s and have a Psych degree with a writing minor which I earned from Oregon State University in June 2012. I am from a large family, with lots of siblings and a growing number of nieces and nephews. They have been my rock foundation from which I have rebuilt my life in face of my new circumstances.
I was in the Army reserve in Portland, Oregon, when my wreck occurred that left me an L-1 incomplete paraplegic. As a result of my injury, I had to leave my career. For eight years after the accident I struggled to find a new path.
Founder, CEO & Chief Editor
San Francisco Bay Area, CA
At age fourteen, I was paralyzed in a horrible car wreck that took the life of my father, crippled my mother and injured my younger sister. That one moment transformed my entire world, but it couldn’t damper my spirit. I graduated high school on-time and received a scholarship to USC where I graduated with honors.
After high school, a group of friends and I traveled to Greece. It was tough getting around, but for fourteen memorable days I had the time of my life. Years later, I went to Berlin and had a totally different experience with more accessibility. Those two trips lit a fire in me to discover more. I wanted to see the world! Now that I was paralyzed, I wondered, “What can I see and do now?”
Outdoors Without Limits
Kirk Thomas is 56 years old. He was born and raised in Meridian, MS, where he grew up hunting & fishing with his father and brothers. Their dad wanted them all to be eagle scouts when they were boys so that’s what they were. “We hunted almost everything but ducks,” Kirk says, “but mostly we deer hunted. My first hunt ever was a dove hunt when I was nine, I think.”
Kirk’s fateful day came during the fall of 1992. He decided to go hunting alone one day after Thanksgiving nearby where he lived in Alabama. “I was just walking out of the woods back to my truck and the next thing I knew I was flying through the air,” Kirk recounted. “A tree fell and hit me right on the shoulder! I didn’t know what happened.”
Outdoor Accessibility Advocate, Freelance writer
Fort Worth, TX
Sabrina Sproles-Thompson is an Outdoor Accessibility Advocate and freelance contributor. Sabrina’s desire to improve and educate on outdoor accessibility stems from her personal experiences as a T-10 paraplegic from a motor vehicle accident in 1994 at the age of 17. She enjoyed a successful 15 year career in leadership and banking after her accident but decided to leave her corporate career in 2011 to focus her efforts on educating and advocating for better outdoor accessibility. Sabrina has spent much of her time promoting and advocating for ADA compliant play grounds and camp grounds. She also volunteers at RVing Accessibility Group where she collaborates with RV manufacturers and…
Author, TV Personality and Public Speaker
Cam Tribolet is many things — a living miracle, an amputee, a husband and father, a public speaker, a TV personality, a hunter, a skier, a volunteer, an architectural engineer — a man with an amazing story. After being shot in 1986, enduring multiple surgeries and an eight-month stay in the hospital, Cam experienced total organ failure and died 13 times before awaking to a new reality—both of his legs had been amputated. After months of hard work and perseverance, Cam recovered and now wears artificial limbs for mobility. Since that season, Cam has never embraced the term “handicapped;” instead, he has used his life to inspire others. He began hunting in 1989, and in 1996 became a volunteer for Buckmasters American Deer Foundation (BADF).
Volunteer, Tighten the Drag Foundation
Sheila Tramontana is a proud mother of three whose kids propelled her into the outdoors as they participated in all types of sports from fishing to drag racing. She has enjoyed writing and outdoor sports photography from a young age. In August 2012, her world was shaken to the core when her oldest son Robert, a fishing Guide, suffered a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed. Since that time, she has devoted much of her time volunteering for the Tighten The Drag Foundation, which was started to fund recovery rehabilitation after injury which is not recognized by insurance. Their annual Fall Fishing Tournament allowed them to award six therapy scholarships in 2014.
Staff Sergeant USMC
Staff Sergeant Matthew L. Wheeler was born on September 26, 1985 in Abilene, TX. He grew up like most boys in that part of the country hunting and fishing. When he reached 18, he enlisted in the Marine Corps and reported to Combat Training School in Camp Pendleton, CA. After that, PFC Wheeler reported to Field Radio Operator School and on to duty at the 2d Tank Battalion at Camp Lejeune, NC. “When I got old enough to join the Marines, the only thing I really had time for was fishing anymore.” Matt says. “I’d go deep sea fishing off the coast of North Carolina and did some pier fishing as well. Hunting went on the back burner.”
Semi-Pro Angler & Motivational Speaker
Founder, Outdoor Friends Forever
Jim Hardy is a semi-pro angler and was the first disabled fisherman to cash a check in a professional Bassmasters tournament. An avid outdoorsman, he was injured in 2001 in a fall from a tree stand but didn’t let that stop him from pursuing his passions. Jim had been a bass fisherman all his life, but got really determined to join the tournament circuit after some pros told him he couldn’t ride in a boat anymore. He’s also a fishing lure designer, creating and patenting the Hardy-tack which is a soft plastic crawfish lure sold nationwide. There are two colors of the lure named after Jim, the Hardy craw and Hardy magic.
Public Speaker, Freelance Writer
Coordinator, Midwest Adaptive Climbing Program
Chris is a mother to two children, Jade and Kai, and wife to her husband, Scott. She has a Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) and Religious Studies (MA), and a Bachelor’s Degree in Education (BS, minor in Recreation). Chris suffered a climbing fall in November of 2011, incurring many orthopedic injuries to her back, pelvis and leg, eventually resulting in a below-the-knee amputation. She continues to be an avid outdoors-woman who loves to hike, climb, kayak, camp and pursue adventures with her family.
Growing up in the small town of Bloomfield, Indiana, the outdoors has always been a part of life. Whether fishing for bluegill and bass or hunting deer and turkey, bragging rights have always been around. Hunting deer has always been my favorite. There’s just something about sitting up in a tree watching the deer below that gets my adrenaline pumping and the perfect recoil of my well-known .44 magnum that gives me that one of a kind rush.
My love for hunting began at age 10 when I killed my first whitetail deer on the same ground my father hunted when he was younger. Everything I know about hunting has come from years of learning from my dad. Learning from him has led to many great hunts together.