Hover takes deer during ultimate team-up
Jan. 18, 2002
Darrell Hover of Collinsville experienced one of the best weekends of his life recently. During a local Wheelin' Sportsman event, Hover teamed up with Steve Thomas and Barry Parker on a successful Saturday afternoon hunt.
Hover is a long time deer hunter who has been unable to participate in his favorite pastime for the last seven years or so. During an elk hunting trip to Colorado, he had a tragic accident on a 4-wheeler. While returning to camp, the ATV hit an icy spot in the road and careened off a steep embankment. As a result of the accident, he was left with a broken neck and became a quadriplegic.
During the weekend hunt, it truly was an ultimate team-up as many volunteers and celebrities joined together to make the hunt a success. Late Saturday afternoon, Steve Thomas joined Barry Parker and Hover in a stand overlooking a green field on the A&B Sportsmen's Club. About 4:30 a couple of deer came out in the patch. Between 4:30 and 5 p.m. several more does came in to feed.
As evening fog began descending on the patch, Hover decided to take a doe. Due to a lack of strength in his right arm, he had to have assistance with the rifle. With the help of a gun support made by Carson at Specialty Machine and Welding, he was able to rest his rifle and take aim on the deer. Parker had to help pull the trigger once Hover had the deer in the crosshairs.
For the first time in over seven years, Hover experienced "deer fever" and began shaking all over. After a few deep breaths and composing himself, he took aim and held fast on the deer. As the rifle roared to life, the deer lurched and ran out of the patch. It was obvious that he had made a good hit.
The trio waited a few minutes before searching for the deer, and more deer poured into the patch. A small buck and several more does came in and provided further excitement. Hover thought that it was awesome getting to see more deer after taking his initial shot at the doe.
After a 15 minute wait, they promptly found the deer just out of sight of the stand. Hover had taken the nice doe with a single shot from his .280 Remington bolt action rifle. What a climactic moment it had been. Hover stated that the hunt was one of the most exciting events that he has experienced since his accident.
Although Hover sustained a near life threatening injury, he has rebounded and obtained more education in computer programming while still working in the wholesale food business. However, one of his fondest accomplishments was his weekend of dreams.
Hover's weekend hunt could not have happened without the many celebrities, volunteers and conservation officers who helped with the event. Hover is especially thankful for Jimmy and Ann Alexander and their family for making their place available for the hunt. "The Alexanders really went above and beyond the call of duty!" exclaimed Hover.