By Tim Walker
-- I truly believe in hunting where one has the best chance to bag a trophy. If your state isn’t producing trophy deer, then go to a state that is.
Ohio is known to produce record-size deer each year, not like my home state of North Carolina. So my story starts when my brother and I took a trip to Ohio in 2005. However, it wouldn’t be until 2007 that we got the results we wanted.
It all started when I found on the Internet an invitation bowhunt Ohio for a week for under $300. It is with a Christian Bow Hunters Chapter called Lord of the Harvest Archery Club or LOTHAC, www.lothac.com. They provide a summer bunkhouse for lodging at the Tar Hollow State Park along with three hot meals a day. You hunt all day, and there’s a short service after each evening meal.
I couldn’t believe the price. Mark told me if I could find a hunt we could afford in a state that produces trophy deer, he would go. So I wasted no time in sharing the information with him.We booked the trip.
During our first hunt there, I saw several bucks but wasn’t able to take one. Mark only saw some does. However, we had a great time, made some friends, ate extremely well, won a door prize and had great memories to take home.
In 2006, our Ohio trip couldn’t come fast enough. We could hardly wait to hunt the beautiful hardwood ridges of south-central Ohio again. Our trip turned out to be a very successful one for my brother. He used doe-in-heat lure with a grunt call to lure in a big-bodied but small-racked 8 point after taking a doe earlier that week. I never had the opportunity to harvest a trophy in 2006. Oh well, that’s hunting. I was sure I would be back in 2007.
However, 2007 didn’t start out like we expected. First, in June 2007, I had to have my right hip replaced because of a childhood bone disease that turned into arthritis. Then I was forced to resign from my job without any prior warning 3½ weeks into my recovery. Mark had problems, too. That October, he was attacked by a man with a butcher’s knife in his own home. He survived his attack but ended up with bruised ribs, a cut nose, a cut trigger finger and a slash in the left bow hand that took 13 stitches. Mark was blessed to still be alive. It was a terrible ordeal.
So, here two brothers were; both recovering from their physical problems and not sure if they could make the hunting trip. Well, November 2007 arrived, and we decided we had recovered well enough to make the trip. Both of us enjoyed the previous trips so well, we were determined not to let anything stop us from going. So after much prayer, off to Ohio we went.
The first day was set aside for scouting, like all the times before. However, we didn’t see much promising sign. So we traveled though the property looking for rubs along the road. We found several rubs but only three spots had trophy implications, so we hunted all of these areas. Mark had a 4 point come out by him at one of these spots, but I didn’t see a deer until the last day. I would have to wait at least until the following year. Mark, however, saw a beautiful 11-point buck coming his way.
On the last day, Mark set up within 60 yards from a ridge. At 9:15 a.m., a wide 11-point appeared below him and he took a long shot. The arrow left the string, and the deer bolted downhill. Then, mysteriously, 10 minutes later, the buck returned, coming up the hill. Mark took aim again and shot at the buck, missing the brute. He shoot again and this time lodged an arrow into his spine at 40 yards, dropping the animal on the spot. He finished him as quickly as possible.
We finally got one that didn’t get away. Mark was definitely a blessed man to take this deer and a blessed to survive that knife attack one month prior to the hunt.
I, too, was blessed just to be there. I was so glad I went. I had to thank God for allowing me to save the money for the trip way before I lost my job and to make it up and down those steep hills after only 4 ½ months since my hip surgery.
It just goes to show Godly men will have trials to face, but with God, all things are possible. He looks out for His children! Adversity will come, but if we keep our trust the Lord, God will see us through.