Outdoors with Friends hunt reported success

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The 2014 Outdoors with Friends hosted by Southside Baptist Brotherhood Friday and Saturday was once again deemed a great success.

“This was our third year hosting Outdoors with Friends,” said Greg Ricks, Brotherhood director Salem-Baptist Association/Southside Baptist Church. “The mission of the annual hunt is to provide a time of fellowship and sharing God’s word with all who may be involved in preparing for or participating in Outdoors with Friend.

“Outdoor with Friends is a hunting event for the disabled, handicapped, wounded warriors and fatherless children. This year, we were able to host 34 handicapped hunters.”

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Hunters came from several different directions with the farthest-traveling participant coming from North Carolina. He was a disabled veteran from the war in Iraq.

The event began Friday with orientation, scheduling and pairing participants with guides and landowners.

“We had a great time of fellowship, eating and sharing the Gospel with the hunters,” Ricks said. “Steve Chapman, author of ‘A Look at Life from a Deer Stand’ and many other inspirational books, was the featured speaker on Friday night.”

The hunters went out Saturday morning and returned for lunch and a time of rest before resuming the hunt in the afternoon.

“Every ministry in the church lends a hand during Outdoors with Friends,” Ricks said. “The Royal Ambassadors were especially helpful. They served meals and helped with clean up. They also had an air rifle contest while the hunters were in the field Saturday morning.”

Although a part of the success of the hunt is the harvest, the hunting experience is what makes the hunt a true success.

“Just having an opportunity to be in the outdoors and go on a hunt is the real reward,” Ricks said. “But, this hunt was very successful in harvesting 41 deer, three hogs and one coyote. Of the 41 deer, six were bucks. A local participant Billy Little took the largest deer, a six-point buck.

“The hunt concluded with great stories and testimonies for the hunters and everyone involved to take home,” Ricks said.

The success of the hunt in both the harvest and the fellowship among the hunters, guides, Brotherhood members, landowners and the many volunteers provided the impetus for a fourth hunt in December 2015.

“With the help of local landowners, the Southside Baptist Brotherhood will continue to host the Outdoors with Friends hunt,” Ricks said. “We also are planning our spring fishing event for those with limitations. We’ll keep the community posted with the belief that others will want to be a part of this special event.”