Personally and professionally I have taken people of all ages hunting. However, one of my most rewarding experiences was when I was mentoring an adult from an urbanized background in our Field to Fork program last year.
Evan Stout, an undergraduate student at the University of Georgia, and I were 20 feet up a cedar tree on a sweltering September afternoon with a crossbow. The heat was nearly unbearable for the first hour, but when the sun began to set and the woods cooled off, we began to perk up.
In the last 30 minutes of daylight, we spotted two does and a fawn. We watched them move through out of range, and I was sure we had missed our chance when Evan said, “Be quiet, one is coming back.” Sure enough I looked up and the bigger doe was headed right for our best shooting lane. I told Evan what the range was going to be, mouth bleated to stop her once she cleared the brush, and before I could say anything, Evan had doubled-lunged her at 35 yards.
Within a second after the bolt hit the deer, Evan began shaking uncontrollably from excitement. It was then that I was reminded how rewarding mentoring can be, witnessing the influence a deep connection to nature such as bowhunting can have on a person, no matter their background.
About The Author: Charles Evans earned his bachelor’s and master’s in wildlife biology from the University of Georgia and now works for the Georgia Wildlife Federation as the Georgia R3 Coordinator. His position—which is also supported by QDMA, NWTF, Safari Club International and Georgia DNR-WRD—was created to increase hunting participation and societal acceptance of hunting in Georgia.