Living Our Dreams Because They Gave Up Theirs! By: Tanya Michelle

We are looking for more Military veterans interested in bowfishing and good times to join us at the 5th Annual Florida Marksman Benefit Shoot (FMBS). It is hosted by SafeFloor Florida, next month, April 29, 2023 at 3030 Cockroach Bay Rd., Ruskin, Florida. We are also looking for volunteers, sponsors and more boats.

Founded in 2019 as a collaboration between Twisted Limbs Bowfishing, The Fallen Outdoors (TFO), and VetCatch (VC), the FMBS was started to provide veterans with a free night of bowfishing as a salute to their service, with volunteers supplying boats, equipment and their time for a day of fun, bowfishing tournament and also a cornhole tournament.

The most popular Bowfishing Outfitter in Central Florida, both freshwater and saltwater, Twisted Limbs Bowfishing, owned and operated by Captains Travis and Shanon Lanphar, along with Travis’ wife, Heather, had the dream to host a big group of veterans, where they can unwind and gather for camaraderie, friendly competition, and enjoy being out in Florida’s beautiful outdoors.

Kelly Andersen, TFO Southern Director for 10 states, was involved in the creation of some of the earliest lever limb bowfishing bows working for Area 5150. His passion for getting Veterans outdoors (being a Vet himself) has greatly increased over the years. He works steadily with nonprofit organizations like On The Water With Veterans, Reeling Freedom, Wounded Warriors Ability Ranch and VetCatch supporting and promoting all efforts to connect with other Vets and to connect them to the great outdoors. Events are planned around the nation creating a network and an outlet for service men and women helping them combat the 22 a day suicide rate among Veterans!

Heather explains, “We spend much effort in developing ways of raising money to give back to TFO and VC, so they can use it throughout the year to get even more Veterans outdoors! Raffles are a big hit along with food drives in exchange for tickets, so that we can donate to that area’s homeless shelter. Companies like Muzzy Bowfishing, AMS Bowfishing, Innerloc Bowfishing, Loxley Bowfishing, Midwest Archery, Federation of Christian Sportsman, ArrowLed, Gator Raiderz and so many others (over 50 this year) sponsor our event by giving raffle items (bows, guns, bags, hats, arrows, fishing trips, gift certificates, etc.) or monetary donations to cover expenses with proceeds going directly to TFO & VC. Free shirts are given out every year as well (this year they are provided by Community Lending).”

So far, in the past four years, they have taken over 220 Veterans on 75 boats, with over 2,300 combined years of service. We can’t thank our volunteers and Veterans enough!

2023 will be bigger and better than ever, and we are in need of more boats, volunteers and veterans. If you would like more information please email,

“None of this would be possible without our Florida bowfishing community!” Heather says. “A huge planning group works together to make decisions for the events; planning, coordinating, setting up the event, working the booths and clean up. The amount of time involved is crazy to even think about! It could not be possible whatsoever without the volunteers that sacrifice so much! It’s these amazing people that we can rely on to selflessly donate their time, energy, money and boats.”

Special Thanks to all involved; to Capt. Travis, Capt. Shanon and Heather Lanphar, also Kelly Andersen and Bill Rutherford for honoring all who have served. With respect, honor and gratitude, thank you to all Veterans for your bravery, hard work, sacrifice and dedication to our Country.


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