Friday, March 8, 2013

Welcome to the Brotherhood!

Travis "T-Bone" Turner

By Travis "T-Bone" Turner

I often think that I’ve got the greatest job in the world, and then something comes along and proves it.
I’ve been traveling to a variety of Whitetails Unlimited banquets, and I have a fantastic time at every one of them. I meet a lot of people, and we talk all night. I learn as much from the hunters at a banquet as they learn from me, but just sharing time is the topping on the sundae.

I’ve been told that I’m the kind of guy that could have fun in an empty room; but if I have to be in a room, I prefer one that is filled with people. Especially people like me – deer hunters. And while every WTU banquet is filled with deer hunters, there is something else that’s special about these gatherings that I really enjoy; everyone is expecting a good time, but more than that, everybody in the room understands that we are raising money to do good work.

Every WTU banquet has a different personality, and the money goes to different kinds of projects, but I’m humbled and appreciative after each night that I’m able to spend time with great people, doing great things. And then something extra special happens, and brings everything full circle.

The following note came into WTU headquarters, and when it was sent on to me, it made my week:
Bryce with his first deer.
“Here is a picture of Bryce with his first deer. He took it on Saturday of the youth gun season. We thought it was a doe but it ended up being a button buck. Bryce is wearing the hat that T-Bone signed when he was at our banquet. He dubbed it as his ‘Lucky Hat,’ and that it has ‘T-Bone Magic.’ Just thought I would pass it along.”

I’ve heard that when people are passin’ out praise you should just get in line, but in this case I’m guessing Bryce made his own luck. Even so, I’m tickled that I can be, in some small way, connected to a youngster who has joined the Brotherhood!

Your first deer is a great event, and some with more smarts than me call it a ‘rite of passage.’ That’s an event that marks your passage in life from one status to another, like graduating high school or college, confirmation in church, or getting married. I still vividly remember my first whitetail, and if you ask any deer hunter, I guarantee they will remember theirs right off.

I signed that hat when I was spending a night with Ohio Field Director Denny Malloy at the Killbuck Valley Chapter banquet, and I hope Bryce has many, many more days afield with even better luck than he had this season. If he wants to give me credit, well, that’s his choice. But I know that the real credit belongs to him, his family, and those who had influence as he was growing up.

Bryce, just look in the mirror – with or without that hat – and you’ll see who deserves recognition.

Welcome to the Brotherhood!

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