The View from My Seat

Hunting and enjoying the outdoors have been family traditions that I've enjoyed from a very young age. Most of what I know about nature, shooting, respect, life, and conservation, I learned from time with my dad, cousin Matt, and my Papa Pete in the woods, marsh, or waterways. We spent countless hours fishing, jugging, and stalking deer, turkey, and squirrel noting their behaviors, interactions, and eating habits. We tracked their movements (mile after grueling mile) locating bedding areas and food sources, and doing our best to stay undetected, all the while mimicking the actions of our "elders”.

The excitement of each season rivaled that of Christmas for me. The anticipation the night before was overwhelming and sleep never came easy. We woke before dawn, gathered our gear and some food, and hit the road for our "honey hole" with my dad giving us a safety brief (it was the Marine in him) along the way. We would approach our hunting, or fishing, spot with stealth that would make a ninja envious, and we would prepare for whatever the day would bring with my Papa saying "hold your mouths right boys"...his version of "put your game face on". The excitement was not based solely on a catch or kill, but more so on the time spent in nature with the three men closest to me. Truth be told, some of my fondest memories are of the one that got away.

Many a year has gone by since those early days, and all three of my mentors have since passed away, but the conversations, core values, and lessons learned remain very vibrant. The view from my seat has changed over time, but the "scenery" remains the same. I still approach every deer season with that childlike anticipation and I thank my Lord and Creator for each and every sunrise we get to share in a deer blind!

 

While hunting after my injury varies vastly from before, prepping, planning, and thinking outside the box makes all the difference. Custom wheelchair ground blinds, rifle rests, and a slow steady trigger pull ensures that I'm still on target

 

Mike

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