Editor’s Note: Jeff Propst of northeast Missouri has been wearing Mossy Oak for the last 13 years. “Although I like all the Mossy Oak patterns,” Propst says, “over the last year or so, I’ve been mainly wearing Infinity. In the past, I have worn Mossy Oak Break-Up, Treestand, Shadow Grass Blades and the original Bottomland. My son, Chris, and I are hunting and videoing partners for “Bow Madness” on the Outdoor Channel.”
In 2009, I was hunting in the Black Hills of Wyoming on the Solitude Ranch with my son, Chris. The year previous, Chris had taken a nice whitetail on this ranch. So, this year, it was my turn. We were set up in tree stands in the bottom of the canyon that was fairly open near a food plot that had BioLogic Deer Radish, Winter Bulbs and Sugar Beets and some other brassicas in it.
The deer were coming out of the mountains and to this food plot from every direction. There were already six or eight bucks in the food plot when I spotted a nice 9-point coming toward us. I told Chris quietly, “Here comes a shooter!” The buck was feeding in the food plot, but he was also slowly inching closer and closer in our direction. Finally, he turned broadside at 22 yards. When I grunted to stop the buck, he looked straight at us. I was already at full draw when the deer locked eyes with Chris and I. For a moment, I was scared he was looking at us, but I knew the buck was so concentrated on the Mossy Oak BioLogic crops that he literally never knew that Chris and I were in the area. During this hunt, we both had on Mossy Oak Break-Up and the 164-inch buck never could tell exactly what we were. When the arrow reached the buck, it took out both lungs. He only ran about 100 yards before he piled-up.
Often I’m asked, “Jeff, why have you worn Mossy Oak for so long?” The answer is real simple or maybe not. First of all, Mossy Oak has so-many different patterns that work for hunters whether they prefer tree stands or ground sits. Regardless of where the hunt is located or what type of terrain is hunted in, there is a Mossy Oak pattern perfectly suited for that particular area.
Secondly, I like that Mossy Oak is a family-friendly company. As you have read, my hunting and filming partner is my son, Chris. When he was 3-years old, I took Chris with me to listen to turkeys gobble in the spring before the season He took his first deer 7 years later. He’s 27 now, so we’ve been hunting and video partners for some time. I have had the opportunity to grow up with him via hunting and filming, something that many people have said is their biggest dream: to test the newest equipment on amazing hunts all over the world with your kid right next to you.
One of my most-memorable hunts that will stay with me forever was the day Chris took a 7x6 bull elk when he was only 14-years old. Chris was shooting a 55-pound bow on that hunt. We had built a ground blind near a water hole where we sat quietly. We heard some elk bugling on top of the mountain near our water hole. After a little while, we could hear the elk coming down the mountain. When the bull came in, Chris drew his bow, and I heard a funny sound. I looked down at him and saw that his arrow had fallen off his rest. Very calmly and collectively, Chris used his index finger to lift the arrow back onto the rest. He then re-aimed and shot the bull through the heart.
Honestly, what I love best about being a Mossy Oak Pro Staffer and a hunter and videographer for “Bow Madness” is having that one-on-one time with my son every fall and spring. I’ve been able to watch him grow as a hunter and an outdoorsman. I’ve been with him on some of his greatest hunts, and he’s been on mine. Chris understands why we hunt and that hunting is a conservation practice; he respects the animals we take. I think he enjoys being with me as much as I enjoy being with him.
Mossy Oak isn’t just a camouflage brand for me; it is the embodiment of everything I believe in from the importance of family values, to a focus on conserving outdoor heritage, and the enjoyment of all the natural, inherent beauty of the outdoors in between.