I was fortunate to grow up with a Dad you loved baseball. He used to take me down to the old Crosley Field in Cincinnati, Ohio, my hometown. We would go and watch who would become the legends of the game “The Big Red Machine”. Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, Dave Concepcion, George Foster, Ken Griffey, and Cesar Geronimo. My dad would always say to me “watch these guys, watch how they hustle, see how they run on and off the field, son if you want to be a winner you have to work harder than the next guy”. I never forgot that…I was never the smartest, or the fastest, but I knew if I tried hard, I could out work and out hustle anybody.
That’s why when I see real effort and enthusiasm in any field of endeavor I really appreciate it. Last Spring I started working with a couple of guys who were looking at some property in western Hyde County, Trent Shoun and his father in law, Woody Bower. They traveled a pretty good bit just to get there, one coming from outside Charlotte, and other from South Carolina. We were looking at a couple of wooded tracts with mixed pines that in some sections were thicker than a jar of chunky peanut butter but showed promise with other sections having taller trees with open understory’s near some waterfront marshlands. One thing was for sure… these tracts were a real bargain, and were loaded with deer, but man they needed some elbow grease.
We cruised all the available properties that day and I think with every breath we sucked in about a half dozen mosquitoes, these guys were some real troopers. Well the next trip they brought the families, Mom, the sisters, the brothers and the babies, all dressed up in their best decorative rubber boots. Again we covered some serious ground, managed to escape injury and the looming thunderstorms that appeared later in the day. They liked what they saw, we struck a deal and these chaps rolled up their sleeves and went to work.
Over the next six months every time I would show a another tract in Broad Creek something new had been done or added. They mowed, they chopped, they cut trails, and built a couple small condo’s they called a deer stands. This place had been done right, and just like my dad used to tell me “if you want to be a winner you have to work harder than the next guy” and Trent and Woody did just that. Last week after only being on stand for 10 minutes this big daddy pictured above stepped out in front of Trent and his brother in law who was just learning to hunt and who now is spoiled beyond repair. A few minutes, one well placed shot, and those countless hours of toil and sweet surrendered the prize of a lifetime. Trent and I talked on the phone about it and he told me pointedly he had never even seen, much less ever shot a deer of that size in his life.
That stuff does my heart good, I really like seeing folks find a piece of dirt, get it right and reap the rewards. Congratulations to Trent and Woody for a job well done!
We all can impact the young ones of the world, so don’t forget to bring a kid into the field with you this winter, they’ll love you for it!