Lessons from the Past Lead to Success

From an early age, my father wisely instilled my brother and me with an adventurous spirit, emphasizing respect and passion for everything outdoors. As a young boy, I can remember tagging along with my father on his hunting adventures, especially when he was hunting the great whitetail. Looking back on those vivid memories, I realize that my dad sacrificed his own personal pursuit of shooting a big deer in order to have my brother and me at his side in the woods to show us what hunting was all about.

Out of all the years pursuing the majestic whitetail, Nov. 7, 2004, proved to be a day that was truly a gift from above and one I will never forget. I knew that the first week of November was going to be the height of the chase phase of the rut, and I was certainly not disappointed. That morning I had a beautiful, 120-inch 8-pointer run by my tree stand dodging a doe on two separate occasions.

Having no shot opportunities and feeling a little anxious, I climbed down from my stand only to quickly realize that I made a mistake. As quickly as the 8-pointer disappeared into the thick brush, he reappeared chasing the doe straight at me. I quickly nocked an arrow and stood behind a tree. I came to full draw and stopped the buck with a doe bleat. He stopped at 10 yards while facing me head-on. I put the pin squarely on his chest and squeezed my release off. To my utter shock my string brushed up against my jacket causing my arrow to miss the buck