Where Does Your Hunting Story Begin?

January 11, 2016:
By Josh Mace,

My name is Josh Mace, I'm a new contributing writer here at The Art of an Outdoorsman. My story starts at a young age just like most southwestern Pennsylvania boys. I grew up on a small family farm where I cut my teeth in the outdoors and hunting. Exploring the fields and hollows with my trusty Daisy BB gun, as I grew my love for the outdoors grew. Soon I was legal hunting age for that year was a big accomplishment for me. I was able to kill my first spring gobbler while hunting with my grandfather. I was able to kill my first deer with a bow while hunting with my father. To accomplish this, at the age of twelve years old, gave me an awesome feeling and hooked me for life.

Hunting has always been a huge tradition in my family. Most people have a hunting partner, I have a family of hunting partners. God has blessed me with the pleasure of being able to help family members kill some of their biggest animals to date. I helped my sister kill not only her first buck with a bow, but it was her first deer with a bow. I have scouted and shown uncles and cousins where to hunt all over southwestern Pennsylvania and they came home successful. I coached my wife through buck fever when she killed her first buck at fifteen yards with a rifle. My dad and I have went Pennsylvania bear hunting and have come back successful, it was not that we punched a bear tag. It was that we bear hunted and seen a nice Pennsylvania black bear at twenty yards. You may think that's easy but talk to any Pennsylvania bear hunters, just to see one is half the battle.

As I think back on the animals, I have killed such as deer, turkey, wild boar, coyote, and small game. They may not have been record book animals, but everyone has been a blessing of God. I have killed mature gobblers with a bow and shotgun both in spring and fall. Whether a flintlock muzzleloader, a rifle, or a 
compound or re-curve bow kills an animal, it holds a fond memory that I reflect back upon. Not only is big game hunting a passion for me, I also have a deep love for hunting tree dogs whether it's coonhounds or squirrel dogs. "It's not the thrill of the kill, it's the sound of the hound". There is just something about the sound of a dog trailing its game then finally barking treed. Its almost like they are saying he's over here guys come see what I got.

Before I end this I want to give thanks to God for letting me enjoy the style of life that I live, and I want to thank my Dad not only for being the best mentor a person could have in the outdoors, but the best hunting partner also.

As always get out there and enjoy the outdoors. In everything you do, thank God for letting you borrow his creation. 
"Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that movest the earth." - Genesis 1:28