Archived Story

Weekend deer hunt designed to bring out special talents

Published 1:29pm Saturday, January 12, 2013

By Ed Bailey

Outdoor Friends Forever’s motto is “Providing outdoor opportunities for people with special needs” and this weekend, the non-profit organization is hosting another one of those chances for interested parties.
Founder Jim Hardy and the OFF organization are kicking off 2013 with a family deer hunt weekend that will allow for kids with special needs and their familes to come together to bond with and fellowship with their peers.
The event started Friday with a meet and greet as well as steak dinner that allowed for everyone to make acquaintances.
According to Hardy, the event has become a hit not only locally, but all over the Southeast region since it’s inception four years ago.
“We get people from as far away as Kentucky and Tennessee,” he said. “They come from Florida, Georgia, you name it. I guess it’s spread via word of mouth or our website.”
The event is about bringing people together and showing what the organization can do for the children and families involved, according to Hardy.
“It’s one of our many outdoor activities designed to bring the children and families together,” Hardy said. “So far all the feedback we’ve gotten from it has been positive.”
Those who take part in the event have their food and hunting gear provided for them by OFF.
While the event is of no cost to participants, Hardy said that the personal benefit he’s received has been immeasurable.
“It makes me, as well as the families, realize what these kids can do and it allows them to go do these activities themselves,” he said. “When the parents realize that their child can do more, they take them out to do things more often.”
The weekend’s events will consist of trips to shooting ranges as well as two separate deer hunts.
Sunday’s proceedings will involve a fishing trip. Hardy said that volunteers are welcome to assist.
“If anyone has something they can offer, they can show up anytime and share their special talents with these kids.”
The event is being held at the OFF lodge, just off Old Dark Rd.