-- I wasn’t a white-tailed deer hunter until I met Donna Shuman at Georgia Southern University. The first time I traveled to her hometown to meet her family, I was instructed to go to their hunting club. I arrived just after dark, just in time to see my future wife dragging a nice buck under a fence.
After we were married, I became an avid deer hunter. Over the next three decades of our life together, we hunted tog...
The Brow Tine Buck
-- The fall of 2012 was one of the toughest whitetail seasons I had ever seen. EHD outbreaks across the Midwest during the drought-plagued summer significantly reduced buck numbers. Weather conditions were not favorable for daytime movement or rut activity, you had to make every encounter count. Of course, luck always plays a part.
Anything and everything outside my control went badly. Coyotes spooked a 180-class bu...
Madison's Big Doe
-- As a father of five kids ranging from 8 to 23 years old, I’ve been introducing them to hunting after they turn 6 years old by taking them with me. Now, four of my kids all want to go hunting every year.
September 22, 2013, was a special day when my daughter Madison took her first deer. We were in Washtenaw County in Saline, Mich. Our hunt started at 4 p.m., and I was feeling like a proud father.
After we got dr...
-- Last year my youngest brother Fred kept harvesting critters in northeast Oklahoma, while I struggled to see anything in drought stricken north Texas.
North Texas looked, smelled, and felt like being on the moon. Everything was brittle, dried up and turning to dust. After ribbing me for months, Fred finally extended an invitation to hunt with him the weekend after the Oklahoma rut. Without hesitation, I packed my...
The Ringo Bull
-- This Hunt started by sending in for The Kentucky Quota Elk Hunt. It was the 13th year I had applied for a permit, and I had begun to give up hope. When they released the results on their website on May 15th, I logged on just to make sure it still said, “Sorry, try again next year.”
I couldn’t believe my eyes when, instead, it was a message of congratulations. I had been drawn for second-week rifle bull tag!
Countdown to Kansas
-- I’m a NYC fireman, and I’ve hunted since I was a kid. I’ve made a lot of memories with my father and family members. Now I’m proudly passing on the tradition to my son and daughter.
This past fall was the second time I headed to Kansas to bowhunt the rut, and I’d literally been in a countdown for a year.
On my first trip the previous fall, I sat in my stand a lot and tried to learn as much as I could. I’d been bl...
One for the Can
-- Three generations of my family hunt on my father’s farm — my father, myself and my son. Until Ohio’s 2013-14 deer season arrived, none of us were aware of the huge, 196 1/8 inch buck with the 25 1/2-inch spread that my father would take before the season ended.
The first time we saw the buck was when it appeared on a trail camera image. The distant capture was taken Oct. 8, 2013 at 5:22 p.m. My son later saw it ...
-- My oldest niece Briley, an eager 8-year old, had begged to go hunting with me for several years. After weeks of discussion and planning, the time finally arrived for her first trip.
Still not comfortable enough with a rifle to hunt, she was excited to watch and learn all she could. Briley is no stranger to the outdoors; she won first place in the youth flounder division in the CCA STAR tournament in 2012, but thi...
Who Needs Fishing?
-- Let me preface this story by saying that my son Joseph is one of the best kids on the planet. Sure, I’m biased, but the kid has some amazing accomplishments under his belt, and he’s not even 13 yet.
Joseph is an avid fisherman who ties his own flies (and sells them under the name Joe Hunter), and in 2013 alone caught a 7-pound largemouth from the Rappahannock, a 4-pound smallmouth from the Rapidan, a 10-pound sna...