Sportsmen experience a weekend of dreams
Nov. 30, 2001
Thirteen-year-old Jayson Roberts of the Center Hill community journeyed to Chunky Mississippi in search of his first deer last weekend. Although Jayson is an accomplished bass fisherman in his own right, he had never before killed a deer.
Early Saturday morning Jayson, and his guides Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Officer Bobby Wilder and Greg Vance, made their way up into a tree stand just about daybreak.
After getting situated and setting up everything in the tree house, the trio settled back to rest and wait for the action to begin. It didn't take long for things to heat up, as two deer made their way out into the green field in front of them. Shortly thereafter, another big doe made her way right behind the stand, approximately 80 yards out.
According to Wilder, they got turned around in the shoot house and Jayson drew down on her and squeezed the trigger. Instantly she kicked up and flew out of the patch. "I know I had it on her, I had it right on her shoulder!" exclaimed Roberts.
Vance climbed down from the stand to search for the deer as Wilder and Roberts waited patiently. In no time Vance literally stumbled over the deer while searching. Roberts had indeed made a fine killing shot that did the trick.
Special hunt for special people
This hunt occurred at the A &B Sportsman's Club on the property of Jimmy and Ann Alexander. In fact, 26 special people participated in the hunt along with many guides and other helpers. Many of these hunters have disabilities that prevent them from enjoying the outdoors like most able-bodied people.
According to Ms. Ann, Jimmy and she wanted to do something special for some special people. "We wanted to do something that they could really enjoy and thought that it would be a great reward for them, but it has been a much greater reward for us being able to do it!" stated Mrs. Alexander.
As Jayson Roberts made his way back to camp with the first kill of the day Saturday morning everyone was ecstatic, including Jimmy Alexander. "Just seeing that fellow right there get one has made it all worth it!" said Alexander enthusiastically. " I didn't know what to expect when we started planning for something on a small scale. I never planned on something of this magnitude but it has been well worth it."
First deer of the weekend
Twenty six-year-old Jason Smith of Louin harvested the first deer of the weekend on Friday afternoon. His guide for the afternoon was Shane Hegwood. Jason took the deer with a single shot from his .243 rifle at a distance of 90 yards. Jason likes to get into the outdoors every chance he gets.
Smith advises other disabled people to never give up. If you really have a love for something you can do it. Anything you set your mind to do can be done, its just a matter of willpower. Where there's a will there's a way!
McDonald gets the big Buck
Sixteen-year-old Ben McDonald also experienced the hunt of a lifetime on Saturday afternoon. McDonald had the pleasure of hunting with professional baseball player Jay Powell. Not too many people get the chance to deer hunt with a former World Series champion. McDonald and Powell both made the most of their hunt on this day. Around 4:30, 9 or 10 does came out and fed across in front of the stand. After passing up a nice 8-pointer the day before however, McDonald wasn't about to shoot a doe. About 20 minutes after the does appeared, the woods came alive with bucks. Several immature bucks came first followed by a heavy beamed 9 pointer.
McDonald quickly settled the crosshairs on the biggest deer and fired a shot from his New England Arms single shot .243. Instantly the buck did a 360 turn and hit the ground. As the deer tried to get up McDonald tried another shot to no avail. The big trophy jumped up and bounded off. After an eternity of searching and jumping the buck a couple of times, Powell found the deer in a creek. McDonald had killed the biggest buck he had ever seen!
After one full day and 2 afternoons of hunting, 16 of the 26 hunters had harvested deer. With the weather that we have been having that's not too shabby! Although the special guests of honor had a fine time hunting and visiting with fellow hunters, the guides and hosts received a big blessing as well.
According to Jimmy Alexander the weekend was a great success. "Although we make tree stands and want to sell a few, this weekend wasn't about that," noted Alexander. "The majority of the hunters here this weekend can't use our stands. We just wanted to make our place available for them to enjoy."
Hopefully others will follow the Alexander's lead and help introduce the outdoors to youngsters and people that may be less fortunate than we. If you decide to offer hunts to the disabled, you'll be glad you did. I guarantee!
Email Mike Giles at email@example.com. Note: The hunt at A and B Sportsman's Club was under the primary sponsorship of the National Wild Turkey Federation – Wheelin' Sportsmen and Blackwater Creek Treestands.