-- There isn't a time I can remember hunting not being a part of my life - a big part.
I've been fortunate to have grown up hunting with my dad, and everything I know about the outdoors I've learned from him. He taught me how to scout with trail cameras, which clued us in to this buck's existence.
For two consecutive years, we got a few pictures of the buck we named The Freak. Then, the deer mysteriously disappeared....
It was a cold Alabama morning, and being in the woods felt like a group of bullies was staring me down before handing out the beating of a lifetime. In other words, it was a feeling a hunter never forgets.
I could almost feel the beady eyes of a pack of coyotes watching as I made my way to my treestand in pitch black darkness.
A sigh of relief came when shades of orange leaked through the pines as the sun rose to ...
Black Hawg Down
Bouncing through the cattle pasture in a pickup, we were still within sight of the main dirt road when we spotted our first whitetail of the morning. That sighting was followed quickly by turkeys, plenty of doves, more whitetails and even an alligator!
I would have expected such diverse and plentiful wildlife in Texas — except maybe for the alligator — but we were in Florida. And not inside a high fence.
Maiden Hunt a Real Trip!
Since it was the first time I'd ever set out on a hunting trip all alone, I was scared as well as excitedly nervous on that cold November day. But I also felt incredibly adventurous, walking in the dark to my blind which was an old poly tank with the windows hacked out and a jerry-rigged door.
As dawn broke over Michigan, shapes emerged from darkness and the field came to life. I felt a sense of bravado you don...
The 70-Year-Old Sprinter
November 15, 2011, was the fifth day of the Missouri rifle season. My hunting partner, Billy Botos, had taken a nice 10-pointer earlier in the day, so I was on my own for the afternoon hunt.
I chose to spend my time on one of my club's leased properties. This place featured large cow pastures, CRP fields and bean fields that had been harvested.
I had a good feeling of anticipation as I drove through the gates ...
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, ...