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Bob Lind, Published June 22 2013

Lind: Fargo man doesn’t let blindness stop him from living the life he wants

Carey McWilliams left his mark on a historic plaque. But hey, he at least offered to fix it.

Carey and his wife, Tori, toured the battleship USS Missouri while vacationing in Hawaii in March.

When they came to the plaque marking the place on the deck where the papers were signed ending World War II, Carey got his fingerprints all over it.

He had to feel it because he’s blind.

“Our sailor guide chuckled that he would need to get someone up there to shine that plaque back up,” Carey says, “but I offered to fix it up myself if he would hand me a rag and some Windex.” But he didn’t, and apparently Carey’s fingerprints remained, at least for a while.

Carey is the Fargo man who, despite his blindness, is an avid hunter and fisherman who has bagged many birds, fish and animals, including, as was reported here last year, an alligator in Florida.

He’s able to hunt with a gun or crossbow by hearing where the creature is, or if he can’t, with the help of someone who tells him where to aim.

He bagged a 300-pound black bear in some Idaho mountains a few months ago, but it wasn’t easy.

His shot didn’t kill the bear immediately, and, wounded, it started after Carey and his buddy. They fired a shot into the air, which scared the bear off, and they found him dead some 300 yards away.

A documentary star

What else have you been up to, Carey?

Well, he says, he recently shot a big mule deer buck in Wyoming. He bagged him with a .270 bolt-action rifle from 120 yards.

“I filled my freezer” with that deer, he says, “but I usually give meat away to those who are struggling and who eat such meat, as well as use it to feed my family.”

A Dutch film company did a documentary on Carey last November, getting footage of how Carey hunts to provide food for his family and others.

Meanwhile, his adventures continue, as per an episode with whales while he and Tori were in Hawaii.

While they were on a whale watch, four humpbacks surrounded their vessel, forcing its crew to shut down the engines and remain stationary.

The 45-foot whales “came within feet of me and spouted on me six or more times in the two hours they swarmed the ship,” Carey says.

After the whales moved off, the ship’s crew said that had been a once in a lifetime experience.

“Being sprayed by a whale,” Carey says, “is close to what it’s like being sprayed by a skunk, because it has an overwhelming fishy odor to it. Nasty, but the experience makes how you smell worth it.”

He’s now seeking sponsors for a trip to Africa, where he hopes to bag a crocodile.

No dull life

Sorry, Minnesota lakes people, but pike and bass aren’t Carey’s favorite fish to catch. His favorite is the shark; he’s caught several of them.

On his and Tori’s recent Hawaii trip, he caught the largest fish he’s ever caught: a 13-foot, 1,000 pound tiger shark.

He caught it just off Pearl Harbor around midnight.

But he had a close call. His fishing boat almost collided with a big liner that was pulling out of Honolulu’s harbor.

When he told Tori about it after he returned to their hotel room, she said, “Can’t you do anything boringly?”

To which Carey responded, “No. Why?”

Why indeed?

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to (701) 241-5487; or email blind@forumcomm.com