By November 7, 2016, I had spent 16 days in a blind without having a shot. However, I’ve learned that patience and perseverance pay off, and on November 7th, I finally took a white-tailed buck. In our section of North Dakota, we primarily have whitetails, but further to the west lives good populations of mule deer. Since my accident, I’ve taken seven bucks with my crossbow and three does. In recent years, I’ve gotten a device that I use that enables me to shoot a rifle, and I’ve taken two whitetails and one antelope with my rifle.
I hunt out of a regular electric wheelchair. North Dakota has a lot of flat terrain where I live, so I can get around to many places to hunt with my electric wheelchair. Because I usually hunt with someone else, if I get stuck, one of my friends will push behind me or pull in front of me to get me to the place I need to go. I charge the battery on my wheelchair every 3 days and can go a very long way in the woods each day with it. Because I have a van that can carry my wheelchair, I also can travel a good ways into the woods in the van, get down out of the van and go hunt. I use a Primos Round Ground Max Blind. I can pop it up wherever I want to hunt, roll into the blind and start looking for deer. I usually spend at least 18 days hunting deer with my crossbow, and in the spring I like to turkey hunt. I’ve drawn four tags to hunt turkeys, and so far, I’ve never been able to take one. But I do enjoy hunting for them.
I was really excited when D.J. Randolph of Mossy Oak asked me to join the Mossy Oak Pro Staff, because I enjoy being a part of Mossy Oak and everything that Mossy Oak represents. A couple of years ago, I started being invited to elementary schools to talk about hunter safety, my accident and what all I’ve learned to do to go hunting and fishing. I enjoy doing that.
I’m president of our local wildlife club too that has about 140 members each year. I was one of the founding members of the Wildlife Club that started in 2003. The main purpose of the Wildlife Club at that time was to raise money to build and develop a shooting range where guys could sight in their rifles and shoot. But we’ve expanded our reach and have started having more programs and events for young people. We have a yearly pheasant hunt that we take youngsters on, we host fishing derbies, and we’re also the main support group for the local high school shotgun team. We have two banquets a year to help raise money for the Wildlife Club, as well as a coyote hunting tournament and a poker tournament. We generally have some type of activity going on every month. We donate some of the money we raise too, back into our community. We’ve bought just under 5 acres to build our shooting range, so now our members have a place to shoot. Anyone else who wants to shoot at our range has to be accompanied by a member. We have four bench rests, and we have a trap range where 5 guys or girls can shoot at the same time. We also sponsor a hunter-safety program. When someone passes his or her hunter safety test, we invite him out to the range to shoot.