I was first introduced to hunting and the outdoors at an early age. When I was five, I would go outside with my dad and walk around in the woods. I enjoyed seeing the tracks and wildlife. Little did I know that someday these woods would become my favorite place in the world.
At around 11 months old I started going out to see my dad's deer. When I was younger, that was the most exciting part of the day. As soon as I heard my dad's truck in the driveway, my boots were on and I was rushing out there. I used to get excited like it was my own.
I had many experiences in the woods before, but it wasn't until I was 11 when I really went out hunting. That was the year I got my first deer, and it was the best feeling in the world. I continued to go hunting after that and have never regretted it. Getting up on a Saturday morning at 5am to go sit in the cold is what I love to do. And it’s what I hope to do for the rest of my life.
Although most of my experience in the woods is with a rifle, I was recently introduced to crossbows and I love them. A crossbow is a dangerous lethal weapon to put in a youth’s hands. There are all the rules of safety and instructions you have to follow. And as a youth, I can tell you that we don't really listen. But listening is key when dealing with something as dangerous as a crossbow. And it all pays off when you get to go out to have some fun.
I love going out in the evenings with my dad and practicing. That's where it all begins. If you don't practice and learn from someone who has experience, you won't succeed in the woods. My dad has had a big influence on me because of all his experience hunting. I hope lots of kids have a dad as great as I do who will hand down these memories. Just my dad telling me about his successful and unsuccessful hunts really helps me in the woods. Learning from his mistakes and using his tips help me to succeed.
I hope to go far in hunting, but all the adventures and memories I will have while trying to get there is all I need. My dad has taught me a lot about hunting in the past 13 years and sometime I hope to pass that on to my kids and other future hunters. I hope someday that the world is full of youths hunting and not playing video games. I truly think that most would really enjoy it.
My dream has been to dedicate my life to hunting and let it be my job. Let the woods be my office and my tree stand my desk. And it just doesn't seem real when your dreams become reality, but right now I'm living my dream.