(Editors note: I have known Ottie Snyder for roughly ten years. Without his commentary on ‘Why Andy should keep a hunting journal” then Team Surra Outdoors may not exist today. In my opinion, anyone who can get my Dad to stop thinking like a rifle hunter and start thinking like a bow hunter while archery hunting deserves serious recognition for excellence in outdoor training and tactics. His contributions to hunters and sportsmen across the nation are that of an unsung legend. The stories I have thanks to Ottie’s friendship and hospitality will last a lifetime. Thank you Ottie.
We will not find a better friend than Ottie Snyder and we welcome his contributions to our site, enjoy!)
FREEDOMHUNTERS by Ottie Snyder
Over the many years that I’ve tromped the woods, waded streams and fished our Great Lakes and both oceans, I’ve met some wonderful people. Anthony Pace is one of those. Anthony, always quick with a big smile and always decked out in his 8.5 gallon hat (he’s from Colorado not Texas) is a long time friend. He’s been involved in outdoor (hunting and fishing) media reproduction for a long time – I met him during the production of hunting and hunter safety videos when I worked with Horton Crossbows. We’ve shared hunting camps, we’ve shared archery trade shows and we’ve even shared a beer or two. But the one thing we share is a belief that we owe a tremendous Thank You to the men and women serving in our armed forces.
Several years ago, Anthony started, “Freedom Hunters.” Originally as a combination free hunting and/or fishing experience for active members or retired wounded members of the armed forces, filmed and produced into an outdoor TV program. Several episodes were filmed and aired on various “outdoor” networks, but that is such an overburdened and over exposed market, Freedom Hunters TV was at least, put on hold. However, Freedom Hunters offering up no-cost hunts and fishing trips of a lifetime to active members and retired wounded members of the armed forces is still a front burner effort of Anthony Pace, and the many people (including me) that he has pressed into helping him.
Freedom Hunters is not out to cure cancer. It is not out to supplement disability income of wounded armed forces members. It has one goal and one goal only to offer active members of the armed forces and disabled members of the armed forces and their families a hunting trip or a fishing trip of a lifetime.
Sounds simple and it is. Outfitters and fishing guides everywhere have stepped up to the plate and offered hunting and fishing trips. But there’s always a need for more. However, the big need is that terrible word: CASH. It’s great to offer one of our heroes a fantastic hunt or fishing trip, but then how do we get them there, get them licensed and provided the right tags to harvest without money.
This past August there were three spots for guided fishing in Alaska for king salmon. Only one spot was filled because there wasn’t enough in the kitty to pay the nearly $1,200 each in air fair and additional costs of licensing the anglers.
How can you help? Go to www.freedomhunters.org and make a contribution (all major credit cards accepted and your donation is tax deductible). Better yet help us find sponsorship, a corporation, a manufacturer, anyone or anything with deep pockets, that Freedom Hunters, sponsored by ?????, might not have to ever cancel a hunting or fishing trip because we can’t get them there and pay for their licenses. Freedom Hunters does not have a highly recognized racecar driver, baseball player, football player, highly recognizable TV hunter that kills his big buck every week in 20 minutes to ask for your help – they just have a volunteer like me.
PS: If you know a race car driver, a football player, a baseball player, an unemployed basketball player or a TV Hero hunter that kills a big buck once a week in 20 minutes that might be a spokesman to raise money for Freedom Hunters, let us know — especially if they will do so without expecting a commission.
Thanks. Ottie Snyder
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