Hunting has been a family event for me since I was little. I have two older brothers and my father taught hunter safety, so I was in the woods and learning about hunting at about 8 years old. In 2000 one of my brothers enlisted in the Air Force and he stopped hunting - that is, until opening day of rifle season 2016. After receiving word of another deployment to the Middle East upcoming, my brother made a quick weekend trip to the NEK to see everyone. Unfortunately for me, I had to work on opening day so my gun had to sit idle until Sunday....or would it? Having not hunted for over 15 years, my brother decided (after a lot of convincing) to get out into the woods again. He borrowed my gun and clothes and headed out with our dad and oldest brother - seeking his first ever deer. Shortly after first light on opening day he experience his first success, knocking down a 4-pointer! While I was really bummed I wasn't there to celebrate with him in the woods, it was so awesome to hear the story later and celebrate as a family for the remainder of the weekend. Every year hunting has provided my family with stories that will last a lifetime but so far, this is my favorite story of all.
- Jordan Royer