I’ve been contemplating this for quite some time. What was my most memorable hunt?
Why? I’ve come to the realization; it wasn’t about the size of the rack, or the beauty of my surroundings. It was about discovering a strength & passion so deep, it has forever changed me…. I hope my journey inspires, encourages & motivates you…
Let me begin by giving you some background knowledge about myself. I am an avid outdoorsman. I not only hunt, I ride horses. Horses are actually my true passion & a passion that was ignited from my earliest memories as a child. There is nothing more freeing than being on the back of my horse, galloping with the wind in my face, the horse lending me wings that I lack, providing me with strength I will never have, and lending me the grace I will never come close to obtaining…. I feel most at home, freer & most joyous when on the back of my horse. There is nothing more beautiful to me. I ride all the time & I ride hard. I am not one to ride in an arena. I feel restricted. I need to be free. Free to go out into the wilderness, I enjoy climbing steep mountains, riding the rim of the mountains, swimming my horses in streams & exploring the wilderness on the ultimate 4 wheel drive, the horse. I literally just get lost, me & my horse, together as one. My horse knows the way home. I just ride…..
With that type of riding comes a certain risk. & I’m willing to take that risk, I long to be free & become one with my horse. This brings me to have obtained an injury or two throughout my life while chasing my passion & living my dreams. On one such day, I was merely riding around my farm & I’ve made this run on my horse numerous times…. There is this one particular strip of grass where I love to gallop my horses, it is a long, straight strip next to my long gravel driveway & relatively “safe” terrain comparatively speaking… Montana Grace & I were on the home stretch, & she wanted to run like the wind & I wanted to feel the power of my mare. I let her have her reins & we RAN & RAN & RAN. She was @ full speed & is extremely powerful. It felt so amazing, like we were flying! This joy came to an abrupt end when Montana Grace hit a hole and stumbled; I flew straight over her head, did a flip or two and landed on my back on my long gravel driveway. Initially I was unable to move, the wind was knocked out of me completely and I couldn’t breathe. I’ve never been so scared in my entire life. Clay, my husband, witnessed the fall & came running to help me. Montana Grace stopped over me, looking intently into my eyes, you could tell she was devastated… I could see her pain. It was never her intention to hurt me & this was not her fault….. Long story short. I suffered a torn rotator cuff, had road rash the entire way down my left side, multiple cuts & stitches in my side where a rock had sliced my side so far open that it cut beneath the subcutaneous fat layer…. With this cut came infection & I had to have the area stitched, drained & re-stitched multiple times. The pain my body felt was unbearable & I was basically house/bed bound for 6 weeks.
I couldn’t RIDE. I couldn’t HUNT. All of my passions were slowly slipping away. I HAD to get out. This wasn’t a choice. It MUST be done, my soul needed replenishing. My husband was in KY hunting & I was at my breaking point. I needed to go out & sit in a tree. I needed to feel normal. I needed to restore my soul. Without knowing if I could even pull my bow back, I grabbed my trusty Mathews & with my torn rotator cuff & stiches in my side, I headed out back to my favorite tree stand. The walk was a hard one as it’s straight up hill, but I did it. I made it into my stand, painful as it was. Merely accomplishing that small task, I felt the beginning of restoration….
After an hour or so in the stand, out walks this nice 8 pointer. In complete excitement, I stealthily grab my bow, waiting for the perfect moment. He stands broadside at 25 yards….. I attempt to draw back…. & much to my amazement, I was ABLE TO!!! This in and of itself was an accomplishment!!! I breathe, try to collect myself & shoot!!! In epic fashion, I shoot RIGHT over him!!!! However, I was able to SHOOT! I felt such a joy; it still chokes me up to this very day…… I did the unthinkable. & I begin to heal my heart…..
Knowing this area very well as it’s on my own personal property, I knew the buck came from the bedding area & there was a good chance I could catch him slipping back right before dark. Therefore, my game plan was to go home, rest & prepare for an evening hunt….. I took my bruised and battered body & did just that. As I returned for the evening hunt, I already felt accomplished & getting this buck would not define nor deter the progress I already made today. I was thoroughly enjoying this evening. Watching the squirrels, the cardinals, the blue jays & the hoot owl who regularly visited the tree 25 yards in front of me… I was cherishing the sun beginning to set & the stillness of the woods. Then, I hear the leaves crunching… Was it another squirrel or was it deer? I slowly turn over my left shoulder & it was MY BUCK!!!!!!!! I start to calm myself through deep breathing & then I said a prayer before I grabbed my bow…. I was waiting until the opportune moment, then slowly drew back & let the arrow fly. What a beautiful moment of release, pure, uninhibited JOY! My lighted nock illuminated my prey. I HIT HIM! I actually HIT him & it WAS a kill shot! I just knew it…..
I immediately texted my husband & told him to get home, we needed to track my deer. I was not in the position to physically track through the thick woods & hills on my property due to my injuries & I knew this, but I also knew I hit him. I watched the direction the buck ran & I knew we needed to give it a few hours, and then go after him. My husband was not only shocked, but he graciously came home & cut his trip short….. He was only an hour and a half away, perfect timing to let my buck lay…. Upon his arrival home, we quickly found the bloody arrow, the blood trail & we found MY BUCK!
I accomplished what I never would have imagined possible…. Through the pain, injuries hurt, disadvantages, disbelief…. I still was able to do the unthinkable. I overcame all of the odds. Not only did I do this, I did it on my own terms. I was not bound by a medical diagnosis which told me to stay in bed. I was bound by sheer will, determination & the strength of Christ… I really can do “ALL things through Christ whom gives me strength”. Phil 4:13….. This is my most memorable hunt. This is also my “smallest” buck measurement wise; however, he has had the BIGGEST impact on my life & hunting career…. This hunt, this buck restored my soul…. You see, it’s not the size of the rack that matters, it’s the memories obtained from the hunt! Good day & God Bless!!!
Peace, Love & Venison,
My Most Memorable Hunt Image Gallery
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter below and never miss the latest outdoor news, gear reviews, or an exclusive offer from our partners. Just add your email address in the form below and click subscribe.