Zach Bags Mr. Big
-- When Zach Barker, my 12-year old grandson, asked me if I would take him deer hunting because he'd been playing fall baseball for weeks and had yet to go hunting, I was ready. The next day after school, we purchased Zach's Ohio hunting license and deer tag.
We set up in a ground blind in a strip of woods on a field edge. We were there about a half hour when Zach whispered that he saw a deer.
A doe crossed the fi...
For the Love of Longbeards
-- I've always been a little selfish with turkeys. I don't allow just anyone to take one of these amazing creatures off my property. But when my little brother, Austin, called and asked to hunt, I couldn't say no, but I had stipulations.
I let him know I'd only heard two gobblers all season. Those birds stayed together, and I didn't want more than one of them shot.
I was hesitant to give permission, but I wanted Aus...
Buck! Buck! Buck!
-- My 10-year-old son Dylan and I love to go deer hunting. We cherish the time we spend together outdoors, and the 2012 season was no exception.
Dylan and I had already experienced successful seasons together in years past, and for several months we'd anxiously awaited the opening day of Virginia's 2012 gun season. We couldn't wait to head to the woods together again.
When the season finally arrived, we participate...
Thank You, Sweetheart!
-- As a young boy, I chased the dream of harvesting a giant whitetail buck in my home state of Ohio. On November 30, 2010, that dream came true. I'd watched one particular buck grow from the time it was a juvenile. At first, its rack was just like any other ordinary young buck. As the years passed, I continued to see this deer and noticed its rack development was greater than the other bucks in the herd. When the buc...
Time to Put the Camera Down!
-- I'd like to say I was in a serious mood on the way to my deer stand. You'd think I'd have been white-knuckled and tense about the possibility of bagging my first buck, but as an avid amateur photographer, I had other things on my mind.
My husband, Billy Swartz, and I were driving to one of our leased areas we call The 220. On the 20-minute ride, I pondered my goal, which was to capture an image of our greenfield ...
From Football Field to Deer Field
-- Taking a 145-inch 10-pointer would be impressive for any hunter, but it's an especially big achievement for David Saville, my 22-year-old son with Down syndrome. David has hunted with his mom, two brothers and me on our Madison County, Georgia farm since he was twelve. He's developed into a well-seasoned hunter, having harvested several does, a 350-pound boar and a 115-inch 9-pointer in his career so far. Besides ...
-- October 26, 2012 finally arrived, which is traditionally the best hunting weekend of the year in Medina County, Ohio. My husband, Gene Miller, and I had looked forward to this particular weekend since the beginning of deer season. We took off from work early that afternoon to get a jump on our hunting weekend. I was very excited! Although the forecast was bad, our trail cameras had captured a big 11-pointer we'd nic...
A Moment of Awesomeness
-- Growing up in eastern Kentucky, your life usually revolves around two things: high school sports and hunting.
I've played baseball ever since I can remember, and besides baseball, the only other thing I usually do is sleep. This comes from my dad's side of the family.
I'm 19 now and play college baseball, but I believe my mother's side of the family kicked in when fall baseball practice ended this year. I got an ...
Back in the Saddle
-- When I look back a couple of years to the day I first saw this buck, I remember being immediately entranced by its size. My memories are still so vivid. The sun was shining brightly; it was a cool and crisp morning, and I spotted the buck walking west, moving through a crossing on my aunt and uncle's farm. I can't really say if the bruiser was responding to my rattling and grunting. I believe it was just passing t...