IMG_3454Imagine for a moment that you are a college freshman sitting in the stands at the Midnight Madness pep rally for your college team and the number on your raffle ticket is called out over the loudspeaker. The contest you've been selected to compete in requires you to make four shots in a limited amount of time – a layup, free throw, 3 pt shot and a half court shot. If you can hit all four you win big. As you nervously wait under the hoop for the contest to start you tell yourself there is no way you are going to win. The odds are too slim.

Then the clock starts to count down. You hit the layup and move to the free throw line. After a couple misses there you back up and hit the three point shot and there is still enough time to make it to half court for one last heave. You race to mid court, line up the shot and heave the ball towards the hoop. It looks good and you know you have a chance. Just like that the ball drops through the hoop and you've won!!! The crowd is going nuts and the basketball team storms the court and celebrates with you. It’s hard to tell who’s more excited, you or the crowd!

Sounds like a good dream right? Well, for one student at Bryan College in little ole Dayton, TN that dream came true.  Watch this:

 

So why am I bringing this to your attention you ask? I’ll tell you why, because there are two sides to every story and unfortunately the story at the beginning of this article is my story from Bryan College. Hard to believe isn't it? Imagine you are 31 yrs old and you are sitting at your computer earlier this week and one of your college buddies posts that video on Facebook. You watch in disbelief as the kid makes shot after shot and races to midcourt for one final heave before the buzzer. You’re horrified because 13 years ago that was you, at the same college, in the same competition, in the same gym, same Midnight Madness pep rally, with the same outcome. Only your prize was $25.00 from the coach which took 3 months to get, not $10,000 in tuition money like the kid above.

Throughout the week friends have been trying to cheer me up for my misfortune with comments like,

“LOL. Good story.”

Or

“Inflation Biebel, deal with it.”

Or, after I remind everyone of my amazing feat somone posts this picture in the comments,

He's right you know

At this point I’m not sure what to do. Do I contact ESPN where the video has been watched over 3 million times now and tell them of my sob story? Maybe they could do a duel interview with me and this lucky student. I could be the unfortunate one whose timing was 13 years off and before the age of smart phones and he could be the lucky one with a huge smile on his face the whole time. Do I send the school an invoice for $9,975.00 just to remind them that I WAS FIRST?!?! Perhaps I should ask one of my friends that still lives in the area to break into the storage room that holds all the old basketball game film. Surely there is some VCR tape buried in there of my special night from Midnight Madness in 2001 at Bryan College and I can have my fifteen minutes of fame.

Or maybe I should just give it up and go eat popcorn on the couch. Thank goodness there is basketball on TV. Of course, with my luck ESPN will probably show a clip of that lucky kid at halftime. I better just go to bed.  

Seriously though, congrats to that kid. That's cool. I almost know how he feels...

Its the most wonderful time of the year2You know the Christmas song titled “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”? I can’t help but think of that song as we head into the best time of year for hunting deer. The temperatures are dropping, the bucks are more active as they search for does and they are not opposed to responding to calls from time to time. It is by far the most wonderful time of the year! Everyone sing along with me!

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
With the big bucks scent checking
And each hunter telling you stories of deer  
It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
It's the hap -happiest season of all

With the does often bleating and warm weather fleeting 
When Bucks come to call
It's the hap - happiest season of all

There’ll be venison roasting
Bowhunters all boasting
And hunting out in the snow
There’ll be many buck stories
And tales of the glories of
Deer Seasons long, long ago

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
There’ll be buck sign showing
And excitement growing
When big bucks are near
It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

There’ll be venison roasting
Bowhunters all boasting
And hunting out in the snow
There’ll be many buck stories
And tales of the glories of
Deer Seasons long, long ago

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
There’ll be buck sign showing
And excitement growing
When big bucks are near
It's The Most Wonderful Time

Scent control has been on my mind as of late. I’ve read many articles and asked for others opinions on the importance of it but I can’t bring myself to spend hundreds of dollars on new scent control clothing and scent eliminating sprays that claim to make me invisible in the woods. Why? Because I’ve never been able to specifically test the products to verify that they work. Sure, a manufacturer can put together fancy advertisements and literature filled with claims of miraculous scent controlling wonders, but in order for me to believe it I would need to see it work first hand.

Consider the scent filled scenario I found myself in this past weekend. It actually began earlier in the week – say Wednesday or Thursday. Somewhere along the way I came into contact with my least favorite plant of all time – POISON IVY. As a result, I woke up on Saturday morning with itchy arms and legs. Unfortunately, I am not stranger to this terrible plant. We have a long and storied history together filled with calamine lotion, baking soda baths and Prednisone medication. I doubt there has ever been a more one sided relationship on the history of this earth (kind of like my history with girls in junior high). Why won’t it leave me alone?!?! ...continue reading

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When I saw Justin share a picture of his first archery buck on twitter (@RtHunter365) I had to ask him if he wanted to share the story of how his successful hunt. Justin lives in Pennsylvania and with a little hard work in the offseason he was able to secure permission to hunt a farm and it paid off! I hope you enjoy the read, I know I did.

I began hunting in the fall of 2011 while on a test drive with my wife for a new truck. Yes, it is a weird way to start hunting but when you wife agrees to purchasing a new truck and follows it up with the ultimatum, “if we buy you this truck, you have to start hunting” you don’t argue.  Fast forward to this year; one of my friends was lucky enough to meet a farmer that has 175 acres of farmland about 20 minutes from where we live and after helping him with some electrical issues in one of his barns, he granted access for both of us to hunt his property this coming season.  The property is an old school campus that has grown up over the past 20 years and has 6 fields of standing corn, good topography, and plenty of areas for bedding, feeding, and travel routes from one to the other.  An absolutely perfect place to hunt deer. ...continue reading

Stonewalls and Oak TreesTonight I am sitting in a new place along an ancient stonewall that cuts a straight line through towering oak trees that may be almost as old as the wall. Their very existence reminds me that I am not the only one to ever step foot here. Someone, a long time ago, placed each one of these stones by hand for some reason. If they could speak I wonder what they would say. And the old oaks that have watched this wall crumble over the years - I wonder what they would say.

Maybe they would tell stories of guys like me who sat in this same spot for hours on end. I can almost imagine an old man sitting on the wall under the big oak as the sun sets over the ridge behind him. His tired shoulders and weathered face tell me everything I imagine he’s thinking. After a long day of work and a hard life he’s come up to his favorite pile of rocks to sit and think. He’s thinking about his wife and kids, his work, and his faith. Before long I realize that I’m staring at a reflection of my older self. ...continue reading