SOU provides hunting and fishing for the disabled
Published 7:00 am Saturday, July 27, 2019
Ample opportunities to go hunting and fishing is one of the benefits to living in South Mississippi.
But not every person who is interested in engaging in those outdoor activates has the opportunity or the ability.
That is where Southern Outdoors Unlimited comes in. Board member Mark Wallace spoke to Exchange Club of Picayune this week about the organization and how it helps children, and sometimes adults, with disabilities engage in the great outdoors.
One of the events the organization holds is called Super Hunt. It began under National Wild Turkey Federation in 2006, until about 2013 when Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Foundation took it over. Last year, Southern Outdoors Unlimited formed a Board of Directors to take over the Super Hunt and expand the opportunities to allow children with special needs to experience the outdoors.
Wallace has been involved in the annual Super Hunt since it started. That first year, about 65 children with disabilities participated. Each year, up to 100 children participate and bring their families, at times totaling up to 400 people where the children will spend the weekend hunting in the woods in a controlled and safe environment.
SOU also holds other events for individuals with disabilities looking for a chance to enjoy the outdoors. Wallace said that the organization held an Outdoor Adventure Day that brought residents of Bridgeway Apartments out of their element. During the most recent event, those citizens watched a tracking dog find Wallace, who was pretending to be lost in the woods. To fund the outdoor adventure day next year, Wallace said SOU was approached by members of the PRC Bass Assassins fishing team, who would like to organize a bass tournament to raise funds for the next outdoor adventure day.
Members of SOU also plan to start holding fishing tournaments for children, swimming events, pontoon boat rides on a lake, and also establish chapters throughout the state.
To raise funds for the Super Hunt, SOU holds annual banquets, where sponsors donate funds by purchasing tables for the event or making other donations. The next one is set for Aug. 22, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. in Jackson. Additional information about the banquet and SOU can be found by visiting https://southernoutdoorsunlimited.org/.