Hunters are the newest group of handicapped to get some help from the federal governmant.

The Fish and Wildlife Service has amended rules that govern the hunting of migratory game birds, such as ducks and geese, to permit "paraplegics and persons missing one or both legs" to shoot from a stationary motor vehicle or "motor-driven land conveyance," according to the Oct. 23 Federal Register (page 70274).

Up to now hunters have been prohibited from using cars, trucks or other conveyances as hunting aids. Even with the rule, handicapped hunters will not be allowed to "herd" birds with cars to another hunter in a stationary car. They will be allowed to use their vehicle only as transportation to that point where they wish to shoot -- such as a marsh. Once parked, they may use the car or truck as the place from which they fire, as long as it does not move. According to a wildlife service official, they even can camouflage it as a duck blind.

The federal government rule won't automatically permit handicapped hunters in all states to use their vehicles. A few states with laws prohibiting firing at game from cars, stationary or moving, will have to change them, according to the official.