Stand with wild Florida
By purchasing our deer plate, you stand with wild Florida. Just this year alone we’ve funded 23 grants, totaling $149,911 thanks to plate sales. These grants conserve and manage lands open to public hunting, promote gun safety and youth hunting programs, and foster the shootings sports in Florida, including archery.
For instance, we granted $26,700 to Operation Outdoor Freedom (OOF). With women accounting for 10% of the United States’ military, veteran organizations are having to find creative ways to include them. One such organization is OOF, which helps wounded or disabled veterans reconnect with the outdoors through whitetail deer and turkey hunts. The participants used to be exclusively male, but five female veterans have recently joined the hunts. Unfortunately, OOF didn’t have a separate housing facility for the female hunters. Enter the Foundation, who is helping to construct a new women’s dormitory. Previous grants to OOF from the Foundation in Blackwater River State Forest resulted in improved food plots and healthier deer, turkey, and other species.
We’re also ensuring that shooting sports are accessible to all. We gave the Florida Disabled Outdoors Association (FDOA) $20,000 for the purchase an all-terrain mobility device. The devices will be available to rent at Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission hunts as well as other outdoor adventures. The Foundation has previously provided funding for FDOA’s SportsAbility program. SportsAbility educates people of all abilities on the available opportunities to enjoy hunting and the outdoors through participation in sports like archery and target shooting.
We also gave Cloud Nine Outdoors a $4,920 grant for monthly archery and hunting programs aimed at women and minority youth. Each participant will spend two days at a shooting range, and then take their skills into the wild on a wild hog hunt. Successful hunters will then learn how to process their game. In addition to imparting outdoor skills on dozens of participants, McNeil is teaching a love for nature, the importance of conservation and life skills.