Fellow Shooters, I was fortunate enough to be chosen along with 6 other disabled veterans for the Blackwater River State Forest Operation Outdoor Freedom hunt, located in NW Florida. This hunt and similar hunts conducted throughout the state of Florida are authorized by the State Legislature and Sponsored by the Florida Forest Service. Unfortunately, no budget is allocated, so this program relies upon volunteers, fundraising activities and good hearted people to accomplish the mission. I can't say enough and give enough thanks to the folks who made this possible. “ Veterans and Guides –OOF Hunt December 2016” My weapon of choice- the FN Scar 17 chambered in 7.62 x51 but perfectly safe with conventional .308 commercial ammunition. Sighted in a 1” high at 100 yards with Federal 150gr SP ammunition, I was able to place my rounds in the kill zone with a dead center hold out to 200 yards without having to guess the yardage. Why choose a Scar 17 over a conventional bolt action or lever action rifle, of which both were present, for the hunt? Because I still live in a state where I am allowed to hunt with a semi auto rifle- magazine of course blocked to 5rds, and the fact that I thought it would be interesting to hunt with. Not to mention it is the only acceptable time in a mans life where it is acceptable to ask…”can I touch it?” “FDE Scar locked and loaded in the shooting house” The afternoon of the first day of the hunt found me comfortably sitting in the shooting house while watching several groups of does and a spike wander in and out of the food plot. For those who have never had the opportunity, watching deer interact with each other in a natural setting can be quite entertaining! Out of the corner of my eye I catch a flash of antler and after a quick look my guide gives me the green light to shoot. I line up and make a perfect shot on a “ cow horn, crab claw” buck while my guide gets a good dose of what it feels like to have a flash bang cook off while in an enclosed area. I’m fairly certain that I did disclose that the PWS muzzle brake did redirect and ungodly amount of gas! Fast forward to the end, the tally over the 3 day hunt was over 20 deer for 7 Veterans! In the end I closed the weekend with 4 deer and some new found friends. I believe the irony of it all is that you would think Vets together would somehow just talk about the trauma and hell of war, but we did the exact opposite. We talked of family, of accomplishments, of faith and our lives since we left duty. We laughed at ribald jokes and spent the few days together as only men who shared a common bond, and yes..we slew a pile of deer!! Perhaps this is where the true “therapy “ lay…just being “normal” again..