Eleven Must Be Lucy's Lucky Number!
-- On 11/11/11, at age 11, my daughter Lucy Smith went hunting with me in Camden, Ala. We were in search of her first buck, and her weapon of choice was a crossbow.
We set up in a ground blind on the downwind side of a food plot.
The wind was perfect and we saw three young bucks early, but none of them ever presented a shot.
At 3:45 p.m., Lucy spotted a big 8-pointer coming onto the field. Three spikes and two does cam...
Worth the Wait!
-- Several years ago I began passing up smaller bucks, usually at least two per year. In fact, the buck I'm about to tell about is the only buck I have taken since 2005.
It hasn't been easy to eat buck tags for the past five years, but to me it made little sense to harvest small bucks when my hunting area is overrun with does. Just being outdoors and taking does for my freezer is enough to keep me happy.
Ian's Last Buck
-- It was the last day of the 2009 Wisconsin rifle season for me and my stepson Ian Fossum who loved to hunt. He had just turned 14.
Ian was able to sit in his stand all by himself, but on the eve of the final day, he asked me to take him out and sit with him.
I woke up early that next morning, looked out the window and noticed fresh snow. I immediately woke Ian and told him, it snowed last night; let's get out there...
From Passed Shot to Pass-through
-- My story ends with a big buck down, but it begins with this huntress making a judgment call that some hunters won't believe.
As the 2012 bow season approached, every hunter who had put time and effort into preparing for the upcoming season was very concerned about the extreme drought plaguing our area.
Our crops were hurting, the water sources were scarce, and the food plots were in poor condition until a little r...
Not Your Garden-Variety Buck
-- Using one eye, I peeked out from behind the old wooden shed. My quarry for the past 24 days, the non-typical monster buck that had occupied all my recent dreams, had just appeared and was on a trail leading to me.
Its body was angled slightly toward me at just over 30 yards. I eased back out of sight to draw my bow. I found my anchor point, and leaned forward to take the shot.
The old buck caught my movement, st...
-- 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...