Introducing our new website, www.b4outdoors.com, which brings an array of exciting features and enhanced communication channels for our esteemed hunters, sponsors, donors, and supporters. Among these channels is our brand-new blog! We’ll be periodically sending out email newsletters with links to our latest blog posts, which will also be available on our new website.
For those who are new to B4 Outdoors, we’d like to take a moment to share our inspiring story—one that we hope will encourage you to take a leap of faith or find your purpose. This is the story of B4 Outdoors President Kevin Rhodes, whose life took a transformative turn in 2017.
Before 2017, Kevin was an avid outdoorsman, spending countless hours hunting and fishing. However, he felt that something was missing—a strong desire to serve those who dedicate their lives to serving others through hunting and fishing adventures. Kevin had volunteered for organizations such as the Outdoor Dream Foundation and SC DNR’s Take One Make One Program, taking kids on hunting and fishing trips. He also had the opportunity to guide veteran duck hunters through the Wounded Warrior Project. These volunteer experiences fueled his passion for assisting others through outdoor adventures.
Realizing it was time to act on his passion, Kevin sold his landscaping business in the spring of 2017 and fully immersed himself in the hunting industry. He completed a comprehensive six-week course at the Colorado Outdoor Adventure Guide School to become a certified hunting guide. Equipped with invaluable behind-the-scenes knowledge of guiding and outfitting, coupled with his unwavering dedication to serving those who serve us, Kevin founded B4 Outdoors as a non-profit organization in January 2018. The mission of B4 Outdoors is to help rehabilitate veterans, kids, first responders, and law enforcement officers.
Shortly after receiving 501(c)(3) status from the IRS, Kevin, in collaboration with the gracious staff at Titan Farms in South Carolina, hosted a memorable weekend quail hunt for eight veterans from the Clemson University Student Veterans Association. The event left a profound impact on both the veterans and Kevin himself, reaffirming his vision for B4 Outdoors. With the quail hunt in the rearview mirror, Kevin began contemplating how to transform B4 into a full-fledged non-profit hunting organization. After conducting thorough online research and embarking on a couple of road trips to Missouri, he discovered the perfect home for B4 Outdoors in La Plata, MO, situated in the northeastern quadrant of the Show Me state.
At this point, Kevin sought assistance in raising funds. With the help of his father, Retired Army Colonel Danny Rhodes, they devised a fundraising campaign and decided to offer paid hunts to offset the costs of providing free hunting experiences for veterans, kids, and first responders. In the fall of 2018, they welcomed their first paid hunters and “mission” hunters to their rented lodge in Missouri.
The initial deer season in the Midwest presented numerous learning opportunities. Although several deer were harvested, Kevin quickly realized the importance of not only managing the land and deer herd but also effectively handling the client load. Furthermore, he recognized the need for additional support.
That spring, a few mission turkey hunts took place, and the most significant development was the inclusion of Lance DeJonge to the board of directors. Lance brought his expertise in social media and land management, enhancing the board’s capabilities.
Fast forward to the summer of 2019, and B4 Outdoors gained significant momentum. Kevin had envisioned purchasing a farm and lodge several years down the line. However, in June, fate had a different plan when an ideal property practically fell into their laps. A farm spanning 80 acres, complete with lodging for five hunters, became available. Through heartfelt prayers and divine intervention, Kevin and B4 Outdoors were able to secure their dream property! What started as a leisurely summer planning hunting trips for the fall of 2019 swiftly turned into a whirlwind of activity as they hurried to settle into the new lodge before the arrival of the first hunters in October. The lodge was aptly named “The Colonel’s Cabin” in honor of Danny’s military service.
From that moment on, B4 Outdoors continued to be blessed thanks to the unwavering love and support of countless individuals, including family, friends, strangers, the local community, and the hunting industry. Since moving into The Colonel’s Cabin, B4 has hosted approximately 25-30 hunts, catering to both paid and mission hunters during the fall deer seasons. B4 is now proudly entering its sixth deer season. Throughout these years, B4 Outdoors has organized nearly 100 free hunting and fishing adventures, providing valuable experiences to those who serve our country and communities.
Each year, B4 expands its offerings, providing more diverse outdoor adventures to kids, first responders, veterans, and law enforcement personnel. We have extended our activities beyond deer hunting to include turkey hunting, ice fishing, waterfowl hunting, spoonbill snagging, predator trapping, elk hunting, prairie dog hunting, and much more! Our ultimate goal is to phase out paid hunting and solely focus on mission hunts for our target groups. To achieve this, B4 has developed a ten-year plan to secure full-time non-profit status and ensure the sustainability of our operations for years to come.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can contribute to B4 Outdoors and help us fulfill our mission, please reach out to one of our board members or visit the “contact us” page on our website. You can also email us at [email protected]. We are constantly seeking new avenues to advance our mission, so whether you are a potential corporate sponsor, a volunteer, a mission adventure host, or a donor, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Remember, just six short years ago, Kevin took a leap of faith and pursued his dreams. Since then, he has been able to provide the gift of God’s great outdoors to nearly 100 veterans, kids, first responders, and law enforcement officers.
As always, HAPPY HUNTING!