By Greg Williams
-- As a kid growing up in, I had the privilege to be exposed to the great outdoors by my father, uncle and grandfathers. We mostly fished, but my best guess is they took me hunting about two dozen times through my youth. I was somewhat turned off to hunting, because every time I went , we never saw any deer.
I have many friends who have leases and hunt and enjoy hearing their stories. Last New Year’s Eve, I ran across a friend at a party, and our conversation eventually turned to hunting. I mentioned my past experiences and that if I tried hunting again, I would like to use a bow. It seemed to be more challenging and sporting. To me, shooting game that live under a high-fenced piece of property and deer that have been fed year-round, trained to come to a feeder was not as much of a challenge. I wanted a more of a fair-chase hunting experience.
I soon learned that my friend had a shoulder injury and could not use his bow and wanted to sell it. He invited me over to look at it, and if I liked it he would sell it to me. I ended up getting a 1990 model Jennings with a case, 11 Easton aluminum arrows, broadheads, release, and fiber optic sites — what a deal at only $100!
I started to practice in my backyard, watching the outdoor channel and talking to other hunters. I learned as much as I could. A real estate salesman, I sold some private property, and the owner gave me permission to hunt it.
My wife thought I had lost my mind, because in the 16 years we had been together, she had never seen me this interested in hunting. People at work somewhat shrugged me off and were in disbelief. I bought scouting cameras, scent-killing sprays, new clothing, grunt calls, binoculars, treestands, you name it. I guess it was some kind of mid-life crisis.
I read up on the Texas rules and wanted to make sure I was following them and also be a responsible hunter. After many days scouting and wandering the parcel, along with many hours in a treestand, I was successful. Finally, my first deer ever. At 41, I finally did it! All by myself and with a bow, at that. Since then I have also harvested a doe as well.
At first I was a little embarrassed to be a 41-year-old man who loves the outdoors and had to ask a friend for help to field-dress the deer (I had never done this). But my friend was just as excited for me as I was for myself. There was no judgement — just friends helping friends.
I have included a picture of my first deer, and also a picture of a deer that I let walk on six separate occasions at 14 yards. It should be very nice in another year or two, and I can’t wait to go again.
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