Editor’s Note: Brad Davis from Houston, Texas, one of the newest Mossy Oak pros, is living the dream of every youngster who plays soccer, and every soccer parent who takes sons or daughters to soccer practice every day and games on Saturday. Davis plays for the Houston Dynamo (www.houstondynamo.com) a major league soccer team, and is a member of the United States Men’s National Team. Davis, who played in the World Cup representing the United States this year, is an avid bowhunter and a gun hunter.
In the summer of 2014, some of the toughest games I played in were at the World Cup on the U.S. Men’s National Team. We were fortunate enough to play against the German team that won the World Cup, which meant they were the best soccer team in the world. We didn’t win that game: we lost 1-0. But that had to be the most-difficult game I'd ever played. Right now, the German national team has the best players in the world on it, and these were the men we were competing against. One of the most-difficult aspects of playing the German team was being disciplined to defend the German team. Those players were really smart, they were great ball handlers, and they were extremely fast when they attacked. They kept the ball away from us during most of the game. Many times when you're a defender, the game isn’t always fun, especially when you have an aggressor like the German national team. But the only way you can get better is to play against the best. When you play against the best in the world, you expect to play a tough game.
I grew up playing soccer, and I also grew up wearing Mossy Oak. Mark and Terry Drury have been Mossy Oak pro staffers for many, many years and have several TV shows. I grew up watching their outdoor videos over and over again. So, from the first time I could buy camouflage, I always purchased what Mark and Terry Drury wore. I can’t remember a time I didn’t wear Mossy Oak.
My mother’s, father, my grandfather Jerry Beckman, owned a 260-acre farm. My mother (Patricia) came from a big family that provided me with a lot of cousins. We would go to the farm in the summer and fish. Then in the fall, we’d hunt squirrels, rabbits and other small game. As I grew older, my uncles and my dad would take me hunting. I was turkey hunting and sitting in deer blinds long before I could carry a gun. The roots of hunting run deep in my family. I can’t imagine my life without hunting. Hunting is in my blood.
I first started deer hunting with a bow when I was 13-years old and hunted with a bow before I ever hunted with a gun. As I mentioned earlier, I love a challenge, and any kind of deer hunting is a challenge. But for me, hunting deer with a bow and having to get in close is much-more challenging than taking a deer with a rifle. Taking a deer with a bow is just more satisfying for me. That’s not to say I don’t like to gun hunt - I do. But being as competitive as I am, bowhunting deer just satisfies me more.
When I took my first deer with my bow, my dad had given me his old hunting bow, and I was using old aluminum arrows that my grandpa had in a closet in his house. First I got those old arrows and bow out and started shooting the bow in the backyard. Once I was sitting out in those woods by myself, I was as nervous as I could be. I could hear faint footsteps coming toward my deer blind on a cool, calm, fall morning. I perked-up and spotted a doe coming around the side of my blind. I stood-up with all the doubts of a first-time bowhunter and my brain racing. I was asking myself these questions: “Can I stand-up without being seen? Can I pick up my bow without the deer spotting me? How much should I move? How much shouldn’t I move?” Even though I had been in the stand with my dad and grandpa when they had taken deer, the weight of having to make all those decisions on my own was really nerve-racking and exciting. The doe had moved down a logging road about 15-yards from my stand. As she walked past my stand, I tried to draw the bow, but I was so nervous and excited that I couldn’t. Finally, I got the bow back, aimed, released the arrow and saw the arrow hit the doe right behind the shoulder. After the doe ran off, I just sat still. I couldn’t really believe I had a shot, I had taken the shot, and I had hit exactly where I was aiming. To be honest, I was shaky. I waited until my nerves settled-down, before I climbed out of my stand. I was so excited to follow the blood trail. I found my doe 70-yards from where I’d shot her.
Once I knew I really had taken the deer, I walked back to camp to meet up with my dad and uncle. After I had told him I’d taken a doe, my dad’s first words were, “Did you really?” Then they congratulated me. Both of them went back to the woods to teach me how to field dress the deer I had taken. That was one of the proudest moments of my whole life. Not only had I taken a deer with my bow, but my dad and uncle were there with me when I took my first deer.