Memories of your first hunt are something that will always be cherished. You'll always recall where you were, who you were with and all the small details of those days...
Our first group hunt for Bowhunter Box Club allowed me to live that experience all over again!
Friday we met at the local, small town cafe where we had a group of people from all over the country that were just meeting for the first time getting together as if we had all been life long friends! When we were told that we were meeting at the only store in this small town we didn't realize it was really the all-in-one store! It was the convenience store, the cafe, the post office and the feed store all in one! The stories that building could tell if it could talk...
After lunch at the cafe, we loaded up in the trucks (and a Chevy Malibu rental car!) and made the drive into the ranch over the rocky terrain of the Texas Hill Country.
As we pulled up the lodge (after checking to make sure the Malibu made it!) we all took in the incredible view from the porch of the lodge. Fresh air and a view of the Texas Hill Country is damn good for the soul!
Bags, bows and gear were unloaded and unpacked and arrows were flying in no time! Underneath a large live oak tree we had some targets setup so everyone could double check their gear and make sure bows were sighted in. Which later in the trip allowed for some fun all the way out to 100 yards!
When the hunting got started later that afternoon it began in an incredible way that we couldn't have scripted if we tried! Boyette made the trip to South Texas to join us from Missouri and was new to hunting. Unfortunately there are too many instances out there where those that begin hunting later in their lives aren't welcomed into it like they should be and many others will look down at them for being new. I was so incredibly excited to know that for Boyet this was not going to be the case! We were super excited to have him there and to help him in any way that we could!
Not only did Boyet end up having his first successful hunt of his life, we were incredibly fortunate to have Justin Wegner of HPG Media there to capture the moments with some INCREDIBLE photography to really tell the story of those moments we were able to share with him!
Kicking off the hunt with someone having their first successful hunt of their lives was followed up by two additional people getting their first successful harvests with a bow later that day! The excitement, emotion and joy that brought to camp for all of us to share was second to none!
Day 2 of he hunt happened to be on St Patrick's day and James made sure to bring the St Patrick's day fun and spirit to camp with his 4 leaf clover glasses and green leprechaun tie! From James' setup in the morning to Steve's Tommy Bahama, camo shirt in the afternoon we had attire bring a lot of laughs to the day!
From laughs to many miles across the rocky, hill country terrain the day was incredible and as the sun set in the Texas sky I couldn't help but look at the situation overall with a heart that was incredibly full. We had a group of guys coming together as a family in South Texas and having a great time! Everyone traveled in from Texas, Missouri, Illinois, Louisiana, Idaho and Connecticut with most of having never met each other in person and just over 24 hours later the bonds that were formed were incredible.
The last morning came all too quickly and I set out to try to close the chapter on my hunt that had already put us through miles of chasing the big, smart ram we were after. When we left the lodge that morning I made it clear though that I was happy to leave without the ram, but I was not leaving without a group photo of everyone. John had to leave at 9 to catch his flight (which I did hear later that he missed! haha oops!) so if we had to abandon the hunt for the picture and try to continue it later that was good by me.
We spent hours stalking these rams the day before and it look us a good while to event locate them again Sunday morning. After getting on these rams again we had a short, but intense stalk that ended with a well placed arrow finding its mark on the big, Black Hawaiian ram. We were able to recover the animal and return to the lodge just in time to get to cherish the moment with everyone and get a group photo with my ram!
I cannot wait to get the shoulder mount of that ram back because he will be forever a reminder of the chase, the memories and most importantly the comradery we shared that weekend!