When organizers with the Bloody Decks Fishing Rodeo started the beneficiary search for this year’s event, they never could have imagined a more perfect fit.
Dwayne Plaisance Jr. of Bloody Decks said a friend of his mentioned an organization called 4:13 Outdoors, which promotes inclusion in the outdoors by taking people of all abilities and backgrounds hunting, fishing, camping or in the outdoors to enjoy other activities.
“I felt like that was great thing for us to donate to,” Plaisance, an Ama native and resident, said.
He called Warren Couple Jr., the president and CEO of 4:13 Outdoors, and they discussed the possibility of this year’s rodeo benefiting the ministry.
“It just felt right,” Plaisance said. “I really like what they’re doing with their organization.”
Couple and Plaisance discussed how 4:13 Outdoors would use the money they receive from the rodeo’s profits, and Couple said the donation couldn’t have come at a better time.
“This year is by far our biggest year for hunts,” Couple said. “This fall we’re planning more hunts and more states … we have a little over a dozen big game hunts for this fall and winter and my goal in it would be to use these funds to make those hunts happen.”
Couple said his ministry provides every recipient – including those with a physical or mental disability, troubled youth, children of a single parent home, families of veterans and others – everything they need to gain new experiences in the outdoors. A recipient’s family is often included in the adventures as well.
“We provide everything for the family, including permits, licenses, food and travel,” he said. “We also arrange to get the gear and equipment they need.”
In the past, the organization has procured robotic arms with joystick controllers for hunters, as well as hunting equipment with suck and puff mechanisms for paraplegics. This area of gear procurement is where the organization spends the most funds, Couple said.
“We can adapt to any physical limitation,” he said. “We don’t say we can’t take someone … we want to have everything we need to make those hunts happen.”
Learning his organization would benefit from this year’s rodeo was a God-send, Couple said.
“It’s amazing to be honest with you,” he said. “It’s a huge blessing that I can’t even put it into words.”
The 5th Annual Bloody Decks Fishing Rodeo will take place at Wake Side Marina in Grand Isle over Labor Day weekend. The rodeo’s events will span September 3-5 and include live music, food, games and of course fishing.
There will be adult and child fishing divisions, and Plaisance said most people register at the marinas when they get there. Sponsorship levels, ranging from $100 – $1,000, are available.
The Bloody Decks Fishing Team was started in 2012 by a group of friends in St. Charles Parish who shared a common love and passion for fishing – from fishing together and sharing catch pictures to entering rodeos as a group. The group decided to host their own rodeo in 2016.
“We always talked about it,” Plaisance said. “We all entered the rodeos down there anyway, so we decided to have our own.”
What little money the 2016 rodeo took in covered food for the participants, but in 2017 Plaisance said there was money left over and the group decided to donate it to Hurricane Harvey relief in Houston.
“Once we saw we could generate money from it, we decided to do it every year to help people,” Plaisance said. “We realized it was not only an event where friends and family could get together to pass a good time, but an event that would ultimately change the lives of those in need.”
In 2018 the group donated over $10,000 to Special Angels Outreach, and over $25,000 was donated last year to a family of a special needs toddler in need of life-changing surgeries.
“Every year it doubles more and more people come,” Plaisance said, adding this year’s rodeo will feature a Friday night kick-off party featuring local singer Will Dempsey. “You don’t have to fish to come out there and have fun … it’s more than just fishing for us, it’s an opportunity to do what we love while being able to give back to those in need.”
Couple said his team at 4:13 Outdoors is excited to attend the rodeo.
“I know friendships will be forged out of this, and that will be the biggest thing for us,” Couple said. “The funds will bless a lot of people, and we will make it a point to really look at how we use our funds.”