Putnam Hopes To Increase Participation In Special Wounded Vets Hunting Program

Jan 2, 2013

The Florida Department of Agriculture is touting a special program offered only to wounded veterans. The department is opening up the state forests to injured vets during certain times over the next couple of months as part of “Operation Outdoor Freedom” for special hunts and other outdoor recreational activities.

The idea behind Operation Outdoor Freedom has existed since 2010, when the Florida Forest Service started inviting wounded veterans onto state lands for hunts. Florida Department of Agriculture Spokeswoman Amanda Bevis says later, that idea became an actual program.

“Commissioner Adam Putnam worked with the Legislature to formalize the program in 2011 and name it Operation Outdoor Freedom," said Bevis. "And since 2010, we have hosted more than 100 veterans on ten different state forests as part of Operation Outdoor Freedom. This hunting season, 2012-2013, we expect to host an additional 200 veterans through the program.”

Bevis says the department partnered with the Wounded Warrior Project, which helped in identifying wounded veterans interested in the hunts as well as volunteered its time and money.

Eligible Veterans can sign up for any of the seven hunts at www.OperationOutdoorFreedom.org. The first hunt starts next Friday, January 11th in the Bay and Washington County areas.

Below is a snippet from the new website that also lists hunt opportunities:

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