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Brian Korb purchased a hunt for his 11-year-old son Drew last February at a Whitetails Unlimited banquet in Columbia, Missouri.

The hunt with John Williams was organized by the generosity of Cathy Rupard, Stan Fredrick, and Dan Vogt.

Brian and Drew got into camp Friday and were eager to head out with John for Drew’s maiden journey after a mature buck. Drew has spent some time in the woods and told the story of shooting a doe once, but has never put a buck on the ground.

Although several decades separate them, John and Drew made fast friends. John said, “Drew is a budding entrepreneur” and shared his business plan of shoveling snow this winter with John. At 60 pounds soaking wet, John encouraged Drew to hire his three sisters to help him shovel driveways. “At fifteen dollars a driveway, you can give your sisters half and you keep half. You can get more snow shoveled in less time and make more money.” the more experienced John encouraged Drew to increase profits.

The first evening Drew had over 20 antlerless deer in front of him. With each deer that came into range, John and Drew’s father Brian had to encourage Drew to wait on a mature buck. John had photos and knew a 4-year-old 140-inch buck was in the area and hoped that Drew would get a shot at the mature buck.

The sun set without the big buck ever presenting himself so the three headed back to the cabin. After a good supper, they all went to bed early. Saturday morning welcomed them with a cold west wind preventing them from hunting the same spot as they had Friday night. John guided them to a blind he had prepared on the south side of a field.

John had the blind set up with a heater to make the hunt as comfortable and enjoyable as possible for the youngster. They settled into the blind and John had just turned the heater on when Drew said with excitement “Here comes a buck, I want to shoot him!”

John recognized the deer and knew him to be a two-year-old six-pointer. John gave Drew the go ahead. Drew raised up the 243 and the buck stopped broadside at 50 yards. With Brian coaching and John behind the camera, Drew squeezed the trigger and boiler roomed the buck. The buck ran a short piece and fell 20 yards outside the field. After a short but excited wait, Drew was able to hold his first buck.

John and Brian took Drew to town for a celebratory breakfast. Drew had barely finished eating when he declared he was ready to get back to the woods and fill his doe tag. Drew was chomping at the bit and it took a little convincing from Dad and John but they were able to get him to wait for a few hours. About 1:30 Drew couldn’t wait any longer so John gave Drew a few location choices before going back out for the evening hunt.

They saw wild turkeys and then a few does came out. A few does made their way into range. Drew took careful aim and lowered the boom to fill his antlerless tag. Like most of us, Drew is now hooked for life as an outdoorsman. And is all due to the efforts of Cathy, Stan, Dan, and John along with Whitetails Unlimited.

Drew was very gracious and must have said thank you to John at least 40 times. John said “It was an honor and pleasure having Drew and Brian in camp. But it could not have happened without the generosity of Cathy, Stan, and Dan.

The next generation like Drew just needs one good experience in the wilderness to become outdoorsmen for life. Sadly too many kids do not get that opportunity. But thankfully the kindness and generosity of folks like Cathy Rupard, Stan Fredrick, Dan Vogt, and John Williams are helping kids get out and experience the great outdoors. Organizations like Whitetails Unlimited and programs like Dream Sheds are critical to passing on our heritage and encouraging the next generation of outdoorsmen.

We all have a family heritage but we also have our hunting heritage. We have all been blessed with those that have passed on their knowledge, spent time with us, invested in us, and taught us how to hunt. Folks like Cathy, Stan, and Dan are leaving a great legacy of hunters with the opportunities they provide through their generous efforts to ensure kids get to experience a hunt.

Gear used:

Muddy blind

Leupold

Winchester firearms

Winchester Deer Season XP

Nomad

Tenzing

Reconyx

BioLogic

Scent Crusher