HOWARD CITY, Mich. (March 18, 2014) — A man from West Michigan whose right arm is paralyzed shot his bow and won a national championship over the weekend by using his teeth.
Joe Wiseman, 30, from Howard City attended the National Field Archery Indoor Championship and brought home the trophy for Best Bow Hunter Freestyle Limited.
It was at just 12 years old when Wiseman first pulled back on the string of a bow and sent an arrow flying. Since that first release, the sport became a passion of his. So much, that even when an ATV accident took away the mobility of his right arm he found a way to keep shooting.
“I had IV’s going right through my chest and my heart to keep me alive,” Wiseman said.
Looking back 11 years, Wiseman described himself as 19 and invincible. Bow hunting, fly fishing and driving his quad topped his list of hobbies. But, that all quickly changed while racing a group of friends in 2011. Cutting through the wind at 75 MPH, Wiseman lost control of his quad and was thrown into a telephone pole.
“They told my parents I wasn’t going to make it through the night,” Wiseman said.
For about three years after the accident, shooting a bow again was something Wiseman only thought about. But, his love and drive for the sport took him to the internet, where he found a new way to make those arrows fly.
“I use my teeth,” he said.
While Wiseman still has what it takes to out-beat the best of them, he said for him, once he pulls back on that string there are no re-dos.
“You go to a lot of these archery competitions, ya know, people will pull back their bow and if they don’t feel right…they can’t hold steady, they let down so they can regroup again. Not me, once it’s back that arrow’s going down the lane,” Wiseman said.
Next week Wiseman will attend another competition. He said he’ll also be attending the national championship again next year. He hopes to be an inspiration to those who have limitations and said he’d even offer to help people learn how to shoot.