Sunday, September 18, 2011

2011 Archery Season Opener

September 17, 2011 started the archery season here in Pa. and like last year, I had the great pleasure to go hunting with Whitetail Management Associates (WMA).  This year we went to a property in Gibsonia and as you can see, I had a fantastic day.  Here is how it happened.

A few months ago Joe and Ryan from WMA emailed me asking if I was interested in participating in a disabled hunt again this year.  It took me all of 3 seconds to reply YES PLEASE !  WMA is a group of men and women dedicated to the outdoors and are of the highest caliber of true ethical sportsmen.  Hunting with them in 2010 was an experience I'll never forget, so I jumped at the chance to do it again.

Saturday morning started at 3:00 am as I got washed and dressed in my Elusion Camo and my brother John loaded my Action TrackChair onto my trailer (Dreams Become Reality) for the drive to Gibsonia and Chatham University .

We met Ryan and Tim along with the other volunteers from WMA who were giving up their opening day of archery to assist me.  This is the first time they had seen an Action TrackChair and they could not believe how cool it was.  Everyone wanted to drive it off the trailer for me.

Tim and Ryan did a two man lift to transfer me from my wheelchair into my Action TrackChair, we rounded up my Parker Buck Buster 175 crossbow and Rage Broadheads and we were off.

The Action TrackChair was the only chair capable of getting me to my hunting spot, at least in my opinion .  I drove it through or over anything in my way to reach an intersection of deer trails.

Ryan Certainly did a great deal of preseason scouting to put me in the perfect place for the opportunity to harvest a mature Whitetail doe. The weather was cool around 47° and all I needed to do was sit tight and wait till daylight.   

As the sun came up, John and I were treated to the antics of Chipmunks and Gray Squirrels running everywhere around us .  I was constantly scanning my sector, trying to move just my eyes as I waited for a Whitetail Doe to approach. 

By 8 AM, John and I had not seen any deer yet and the volunteers from WMA  decided to slowly push some Whitetail's by us.  They informed us of the plan and I stayed alert waiting for my shot opportunity.  

 It was 9 AM and I heard movement to my right, coming down the hillside.  I said to my brother John this is it,  and I took my safety off.  Earlier, at first light he used my laser rangefinder to give me some exact yardage reference points.

The doe made her way down the hillside and stopped behide a tree.  I knew that tree was 30 yards out in front of me.  I settled my crosshairs behind her left front shoulder and activated my trigger activator.  The bolt found its mark, a complete pass-through shot effectively taking out both lungs. 

 My brother said great shot Greg, you got her. I could not believe how fortunate I was to be in this situation with WMA again this year.   We waited a few minutes and then John retrieved  my crossbow bolt confirming the shot. 

John quickly called Ryan on the cell phone and told him we should have  a doe down very close by .   It seemed like only a few minutes when Ryan and the other volunteers arrived .    

 I was very excited and got to relive the experience again as they asked me about my shot.  I explained that I took a 32 yard shot right behind her front shoulder. They easily found the blood trail and retrieved my doe 30 yards away.   

After a few pictures were taken we moved on to a different location.  I was able to see an additional 40 odd deer, but none presented a clean ethical shot.  

All the volunteers stayed the entire day and did everything they could to ensure I had a memorable day afield with them.   John and I had a great day hunting together as only two brothers can.

We would like to thank all the volunteers at WMA for giving up their time and making sure I had the best possible  hunting experience with friends and family.  

John and I dropped off my Whitetail at Kips Deer Proessing in Carnegie Pa for professional processing.

 I would also like to thank Elusion Camo for their Mobiblind system and Action TrackChairs. Without this equipment, I would not be able to get into the woods and become invisible.    


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