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7300 North Palmyra Rd.
Canfield, OH 44406

MCCTC students help Karlovic hunt again


MCCTC students help Karlovic hunt again

Posted: Oct 29, 2016 10:29 AM EDT

By Steve Vesey, WFMJ Weekend Today Anchor CONNECT

CANFIELD, Ohio -

John Karlovic is a hunter. Thanks to a little help from some eager students at the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center, he can continue that passion from his wheelchair.

It's a passion that has been handed down from one generation to the next. John's dad taught him, and he taught his kids.

"This was the first thing that he and I ever bonded over," said John's son Blaise. "It wasn't sports, it wasn't football, it wasn't baseball, girls - it was hunting."

"I used to hunt everything from rabbits, to ducks and geese, to deer and I even bagged a moose one time and a black bear," said John.

But five years ago, an accident left John paralyzed from the chest down. He just assumed that meant his hunting days were done. That was, until he found out about adaptive equipment.

"It'll shoot a bow or a gun and it enables me to move the yoke up or down," said John.

He can move the device using his mouth. His family made the purchase, got a trailer to keep him out of the elements, but then John found out he was one of five disabled hunters picked to hunt at Deerasic Park this week, down in Cambridge, Ohio. Suddenly, they had to get everything put together in a hurry.

"I had suggested, why don't I bring this into the career center and let some of the kids work on this," said Blaise, who is also the CFO and treasurer at the school. "We have engineers, electricians, welders, machinists. We have mechanics, and I have a hundred of them."

Needless to say, this project was quite a bit different from the typical projects they work on here, and it took a complete team effort from just about everybody at MCCTC to get it done.

"I'm used to working on truck and cars," said senior Nathan Gasser. "When he brought in a trailer, I was like, what are we doing here?"

"They all bring that little piece to the table that you need. Trying to incorporate those kids and give them that real world problem, letting them see that and being a part of that, and helping somebody to get back to where they want to be," said MCCTC truck and diesel isntructor Joe Merritt.

John has a big part of his life back and another chance to bag the big one surrounded by family. Although, that first one will be his moment to enjoy.

"The only thing that isn't going to happen, if I see a big one, my son isn't going to say let me shoot him, dad and you can shoot the next one. That isn't going to happen," said John.

Another shot for John Karlovic, and a dedicated group of students that helped make it happen.

Karlovic took his new trailer to Cambride this week and already has two deer, thanks to his sharp aim. He bagged a large doe earlier this week, then got a six-point buck Saturday morning.

By Steve Vesey, WFMJ Weekend Today Anchor CONNECT

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7300 North Palmyra Rd., Canfield, OH 44406 • High School - 330-729-4000 • Adult Division - 330-729-4100

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