To the donors and staff of the Sportsmen’s Foundation for Military Families,
My family and I spent 21-23 December at the ranch in Lorida last week. I can’t tell you how much fun we had as well as quality family time spent. I rarely am able to take two of my children to the woods with me as they are not that much into hunting—until now I think. Both Brianna and Shawn were able to sit with me at your place and both of them killed their first hog. I think they’re hooked! My other son, Rich, also had a great time and killed a pig of his own, while my wife and a couple of the other kids enjoyed the horse-riding next door and the quiet time at the cabins. I’ve attached some photos
For those of you that weren’t at the ranch, here’s an idea of how our trip went:
We arrived on the 21st and Danny met us and got us settled into the cabins which easily and comfortably accommodated the 18 people that were in my family group. We got moved in and quickly changed over for the first night’s hunt. My brother, Tom, shot a hog and many of us heard or saw hogs but were unable to see or get a shot at them due to them staying in the brush etc. So Brian and Keith took a couple of us out after dinner to try to spot and stalk some hogs to get a couple in the cooler. We ended up coming across a few groups of hogs and my daughter, Bree, was able to harvest her first animal ever! We were out until about 1030 or so that night. The morning of the 22nd, many of us heard hogs, but again, no hog seemed to want to be shot, and that night’s hunt went about the same. So after the evening hunt, Danny told me that since the hogs weren’t moving so well we were going to do something a little different if we were up to it (which we most certainly were!). We ended up going back out after dinner to experience hunting with dogs, which turned out to be one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done. KC, Brian, Keith, and Seth worked hard to get us on some hogs, and after a few hours, my two sons (Rich and Shawn), my nephew (Jes), and my sister-in-law (Claudia) had all harvested hogs. The majority of us were with the group and got to participate in the hunt as well which was all the excitement we needed!
So besides the action in the woods, I have to mention how awesome the cabins are. And Carla’s cooking—wow! The food was delicious and I found myself wondering what she was going to cook next as I sat in the tree stand waiting for the ride back to camp. I was impressed that Danny and KC really kept people busy instead of letting us sit around the camp area. A couple of the younger kids got to drive the swamp buggy which they really enjoyed, eight of us rode horses down the road at the horse farm, and it was just a good time hanging out at the fire and in the kitchen. I had a great time talking with all the staff—who are all really awesome people!
We all appreciate the opportunity you gave us in bringing us down to the ranch and letting us hunt and hang out. It was the first time in quite a few years that all of my brothers and sisters and parents were able to get together (three of us in the Marine Corps stationed in North Carolina and one in the Air Force stationed in Calilfornia), and it was the invitation to hunt with SFMF that started that ball rolling. So the group photo at your place was the first family photo we’ve taken in a long time, and we did another at my dad’s place in Ocala. I can’t thank you all enough for your contributions/participation in the Sportsmen’s Foundation for Military Families. The organization definitely helped to bring my family together for a little bit of fun and relaxation and subsequently we all spent Christmas at my Dad’s place so that was a bonus. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do that might help the organization out a little bit. I’ll be making a contribution via your website after the new year for starters. Thanks again!
Rich Schultz (and family)
MSgt, USMC, active