Zachery Bond | Mossy Oak ProStaff
Before the February rut occurs in south Alabama, I take my wife and my son up to our hunting spot in Clarke County, let them see and watch deer out on the green fields and help us harvest does. We usually take 6-8 does off our property, and my hunting partner generally will take a couple of does too. I enjoy spending time with my family, and we live that Mossy Oak lifestyle of sharing the outdoors with others.
The first person who ever invited me out of state to hunt was Blake Hamilton. Blake invited me to come to West Point, Mississippi, when he worked with Mossy Oak to hunt with Neill Haas and some of the other Mossy Oak folks. I usually start deer hunting in early October and go then to Kentucky or Ohio. Next I’ll travel to Texas in November or December and then return home to hunt south Alabama in January and February.
I can go to Kentucky and hunt private land that close family friends own. I won a deer hunt in Missouri through the National Wild Turkey Federation, and that’s how I hunted there. My friend, Blake, who lives in Texas now, gets me to come and hunt there. I’ve been fortunate enough to make friends in various states who allow me to come to their states to hunt with them. Generally I’ll have places to stay and eat, too, besides lands to hunt. Some of the relationships I have with hunters in other states have taken years to develop. All the people I hunt with when I travel are friends.
I believe there’s numbers of other hunters who now travel out of their states to look at new country and hunt for possibly bigger deer and/or hunt in a state where they’ve never hunted before. So, deer hunting has changed for me over the last few years – the seasons have changed, the way we manage deer has changed, and some of the equipment has changed. Growing up, none of us knew what a trail camera was, and today trail cameras help us to better manage our lands and our deer and aid us in identifying the bucks we should and shouldn’t take.