Forty Days into the Wild
-- It all started with the inability to check my own mail because of a busy summer schedule on our farm located in extreme northeast Colorado.
My father had gone to the mailbox and, with an odd smirk, he handed me a Division of Wildlife envelope. I rummaged through the envelope expecting to find a refund check. Instead I was shocked to find a blue tag stamped S66 Rifle Ram.
My heart skipped a beat. I didn't ha...
First Year Success!
As a new hunter, my very first season hunting was amazing, and more so because I've been able to share my newly found passion with some of my closest buddies and bond even more with them.
I've also been blessed to have a few 30-year veteran hunters take me under their wings. They've been an invaluable resource for me. It definitely helps to have experienced coaches, and I encourage veteran hunters to continue t...
Woman's Ocellated Gobbler Slams Door
-- On the last leg of my World Turkey Slam, I'd be pursuing the Ocellated Turkey, or Pavo Ocellata, in the jungles of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.
This turkey hunt would be vastly different from any I'd experienced, including my Rio Grande, Merriam, Osceola, Eastern and even the Gould I'd taken in Mexico.
There are two major differences in the Ocellated Turkey from North American birds: the males don't gobble, but r...
One Arrow Ends Five Years of Dreaming
-- After five unsuccessful years of eating Missouri archery tags, I was anxious to return there for my annual week of Midwest madness. That's what my three hunting buddies and I call our seven days of bowhunting at a good friend's property.
Being South Carolina natives, we were used to hunting the Blue Ridge Mountains without seeing a decent buck for weeks. You can imagine our anticipation for this trip every year, ...
Trading a 2x2 for a 4x5!
-- The second day of my mule deer hunt began at dawn on Oct. 21, 2011 at Idaho's Broadmouth Canyon Ranch.
My guide, Devin Bowman, and I were situated atop one of the pristine Blackfoot Mountains which overlooked several ravines funneling together in an area known as Colt Creek.
As we glassed for big mule deer, I watched some does and a 2x2 buck feeding 800 yards away. As they grazed down the mountainside, my attenti...
Magical Evening in Missouri
-- The night of Oct. 27, 2009, was a life changing experience for me, and one I will never forget.
I was hunting private property in Bates County, Missouri, on near perfect day for hunting - light winds and overcast skies. I could just feel that the evening was going to be a good one.
As I proceeded to walk to my stand, I kept accidentally dropping supplies and making noise. I thought it would be a miracle if I saw ...
That's My Stand Now
-- It was opening week of the 2007 whitetail hunting season for both Mississippi and Tennessee. I decided to spend the opening weekend through Thanksgiving with my father-in-law in Mississippi. I hunted every morning and every evening of those first five days of the season. Some days, I was in the stand from dawn ’till dusk. I saw plenty of deer, but mostly does. The few bucks I saw were really young or not mature e...
Hunting Hooks the Birthday Girl
After years of invites, I finally joined my best friend, Julie, and her family at their hunting camp in Beauregard Parish, Louisiana.
I always loved the outdoors and had grown up fishing and mud riding. But the men in my family weren't hunters, so it's something I'd never been exposed to. On the other hand, Julie's family is very hunting-oriented and will chase any animal, anywhere.
The first step was signing u...
I Forgive You, Poppy!
My father and I had not been on good speaking terms since I discovered he'd been taking my 5-year-old son, Will, hunting without my knowledge and against my orders.
I should have figured it out when Poppy, my dad, had hinted about taking Will on some new child mentor program implemented by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Supposedly, it allows a child to go hunting with adult supervision. I hadn't heard of it ...