Chad Alan Waligura – AmmoLand Outdoor Writer Biography Series
“I tell the tales of heartbreak and inspiration.” – Chad W.
El Campo, Texas –-(Ammoland.com)- Chad Alan Waligura was born March 19, 1969, in Bryan, Tx.
The son of Judy Dore’ Waligura of Crowley, Louisiana, and Randy Waligura of Garwood, Texas, Waligura had a happy childhood growing up on the Texas gulf coast.
At an early age, he was introduced to hunting & fishing by his father and grandfather, Ben Waligura. Chad fell in love with the outdoors at age 12 when his dad took him duck hunting for the first time. From that day on, he knew it had be part of his life forever.
On July 7, 1986, at age 17, Chad Waligura suffered a paralyzing injury after diving into a swimming pool and fracturing his cervical vertebrae at the C-7 level. Hunting was the one thing Waligura knew he couldn’t give up. After three months of rehab at TIRR (The Institute for Rehabilitation & Research) in Houston, Chad was back in the woods with dad, learning how to hunt again. Not long after, TIRR began calling Waligura back to visit with patients who had questions about hunting and fishing since he was the only former patient they knew who was into that “sort of thing”. Soon, Chad was presenting his adaptive equipment to groups of staff and patients as a member of the TIRR Peers mentor program.
Waligura graduated from El Campo High School in 1988. In 1993, he graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Wildlife & Fisheries Science, and in 2002, he earned a Master of Education (M.Ed.) from the University of Houston, Victoria, in Guidance & Counseling.
In 1996, Waligura founded a website called Follow Me Outdoors as an information source about disabled hunting & fishing. It was around this time that Chad became interested in writing. Anytime he had a successful hunt, or found someone else in the disabled hunting world who did, Waligura would write about it for his website. He naturally began freelancing for mainstream hunting magazines. To date, Chad Waligura has been published in Buckmasters’ Rack Magazine, King’s Hunting Illustrated, Eastman’s Hunting Journal, Horizontal Bowhunter Magazine, UFFDA Magazine, Turkey & Turkey Hunting, and the African Hunting Gazette. Waligura was the cover story for Sports-N-Spokes magazine published by the Paralyzed Veterans of America in March, 2010.
During that same time period, Waligura began organizing group hunts for challenged hunters in Texas as well as finding suitable hunts for disabled hunters across the country. It was for this work that Chad Waligura was named Buckmasters’ 2003 Challenged Hunter of the Year and chosen by Safari Club International as their Pathfinder Award winner in 2010.
In 2011, Waligura launched and became editor of an online magazine called Disabled Hunter Magazine. It’s the first of its kind that’s by, for, and all about challenged sportsmen. The pulse of DHM will be bringing to the reader the most inspiring stories of people who have overcome long odds in order to get back into the outdoors. There will be product reviews of the equipment (adaptive & commercial) that we find most beneficial to that journey, and DHM will cover all areas of interest, from disabled hunting to outdoor recreation to travel.
“As my involvement in the disabled hunting world grew, I started coming across so many stories of heartbreak and inspiration that I knew I had create a place where they could be told. Disabled Hunter Magazine is that place. It’s the only magazine for challenged outdoorsmen anywhere. And we’re not just going to tell amazing stories either. We’re going to show people that they can get out there on their own. I believe that will capture the interest of all readers.” – Chad W.
Waligura plans to keep freelance writing for outdoor magazines whenever he can. His primary goals are to be the most accomplish disabled hunter in the world and to reach as many hunters in need as he can through his stories.Chad Waligura – Editor
1204 Laurel Lane
El Campo, Tx. 77437
http://dhuntmag.com mailto: [email protected] ~~~~
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