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Tennessee Roller Coaster Ride
-- This trip with my 11-year-old grandson, Kruz, didn't start out like the previous five years. This year was different and we both knew it. Both of us were filled with anticipation of a successful hunting trip, of bringing home antlers or at least some deer meat.  A slot finally opened on a lease I'd wanted to join for several years. It was with friends from church, and a five-hour drive across Tennessee, but I...
 

Drop Tine Blues
-- I have lived my whole life in Louisiana, and ever since I was in diapers, I have loved the outdoors. I started bowhunting six years ago and found it to be the most rewarding and frustrating hunting of my life. In other words, I'm hooked. Three years ago, my friend Whit Applegate and I decided to find a lease in Kansas. It took us a year and a half, but after countless hours, multiple road trips and knocking on hu...
 

From Jane Doe to John Deer
-- The story of my very first buck, which I took with a bow on Oct. 13, 2011, near Woodward, Iowa, begins around 6 a.m. when I'd noticed a dark object about 300 yards away. I didn't pay much attention to it since it was so far away. About 30 minutes later, I noticed it was gone, so I started scanning a fence line and eventually spotted the deer. It was about 100 yards away at that point and getting closer, yet stil...
 

All Smiles and Tears in Texas!
-- I'm an avid bow hunter and shot my first deer with a rifle at age four, so it's important to me to bring my family into the sport at an early age. My oldest daughter Josslyn is 6-years-old, and had been shooting a .22 rifle for about a year. She'd even taken a raccoon as her first animal at age five, so I figured she was ready to try deer hunting this season. We started practicing with a crossbow before bow seas...
 

It'll wait for Dad
-- After 25 years of hunting with my father, Ronny, and the two of us trying to take a big buck while hunting together, I finally got the big one. My stand overlooked a small, planted cutover strip in Bossier Parish, Louisiana. I was getting ready to pack up and leave when suddenly, someone fired a shot in the distance. A buck raised its head in the cutover near the green strip. If it wasn't for that shot, I'd have...
 

Life's Lessons on Opening Day
-- Back on a high ridge along an old cut trail stood a young man inside a makeshift hunting blind. Light filtered down through the trees, mixing with the mist that was rising from the earth. The smells, the quietness, the coolness - I can still picture moss growing on the tree trunks, dew dripping from leaves and water trickling through the little creek. It was my first deer hunt. I was dressed in a hand-me-down ora...
 

My Unique Buck
-- It was early November during the 2012 youth season when I got my first buck. My boyfriend, Bryce, and I were hunting near Clarence, Mo., as we made our way to our deer stand. I remember it was dark outside, with no moon or light for us to see the trail. I was just hoping we were going in the right direction as we hurried through the woods. As we were walking up a hill, Bryce accidentally rolled his ankle in a hole. He ...
 

Hold off for the BIG One!
-- On November 26, 2012, my brother Bill and I left camp at 5:30 a.m. to go rifle hunting on our place in Tioga County, Penn. Before leaving, our brother Chris came downstairs to wish us well on a safe hunt. Later that day, I would remember his advice: "Hold off for the big one." As Bill and I drove to our hunting area, all was quiet in the truck. I was feeling anxious about my spot, because I'd seen a lot of buck si...
 

Stars of the Trail Cam
-- Although my husband, Ed, and I live in New York, my story takes place in Georgia, less than 300 yards from the Chattahoochee River which separates Georgia and Alabama. I've lost count of how many times I've visited those woods, but some months it's almost every day, in hopes of taking my first buck. It felt pretty much like any other morning as I headed to my treestand, except this time I left home early enough t...
 
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Every Trophy Has a Story