Spend just a few minutes with me and I promise I will find an opportunity to talk about my favorite pastime – hunting. During my childhood I was drawn to the outdoors and particularly loved seeing wildlife of all kinds. While walking to catch the school bus at age 8, four wild turkeys crossed the road in front of me, and I would not have enjoyed a roller coaster ride anymore than seeing those turkeys. I had never seen a wild turkey prior to that morning, but I instantly knew what they were, and I was very excited. Years later as I tried to understand my passion for the outdoors I remembered that turkey sighting, and realized that my reaction was not that of a normal 8 year old. My reminiscences of that youthful event helped me realize that I was born with a love of the outdoors.
That love of the outdoors has been my motivation for spending countless hours hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting. I enjoy all outdoor pursuits, but my favorite is hunting. I took my first deer at age nineteen and my second at age thirty. I kept hunting in those eleven years between those two deer but was unsuccessful and frustrated. The only thing that kept me in the woods was that I really loved hunting. I remember telling my wife that I was going to take up a new hobby, but I could not give up hunting because I truly enjoyed being in the woods. My continued effort made me even more aware that I was created to be outdoors, and more specifically I was “Born to Hunt”.
Unlike many outdoorsmen I did not grow up hunting. That is why I was nineteen before I got my first deer. The fact is I had a very tough childhood that was filled with all types of abuse. My father and mother divorced when I was five. I never saw him after they separated. My mother was married numerous times during my childhood, and all of her husbands were abusive alcoholics. I was in a foster home by age ten, and went to live with my maternal grandmother at age twelve. That is where I stayed until college, and it was the first consistency I had experienced in my life.
My childhood kept me from getting an early start in the woods, but never dampened my enthusiasm. I was always intrigued and when I reached adulthood I began spending every available minute pursuing my passion. Obviously, I had much to learn. That is why it took me eleven years of effort to take my second deer. That same passion is what kept me out there learning and refining my skills. Nowadays, I have no trouble filling tags and I even manage to take a trophy buck now and then. I have also taken the wild turkey “Grand Slam”. My bow is my preferred weapon. I have used it to take an antelope, wild turkey, and more deer than I can remember. My passion created an extraordinary desire to be a proficient hunter and motivated me to persist until I learned the skills to achieve my goal.
Over the years I have made a special effort to be an ambassador for hunting and I regularly invite people to let me introduce and empower them in the woods. In fact, before my sons were born I had a streak of twelve years that I helped a different person take their first deer and first turkey. That streak ended because I concentrated my effort on helping both of my sons be successful hunters. They both took their first deer at age seven.
I have been empowering hunters for over 20 years now, and that is the spirit and purpose of this website and myHow2Hunt Youtube channel. It is a work in progress, but one that I am excited to make available. Thank you for the opportunity to help.
“GET AFTER EM” – Monte
Richard L. Fox, Jr.
We are truly blessed to have Richard Fox, Jr. as a member of our mentor team. The cool thing about me writing this bio is that I get to brag on my own mentor. Richard started coaching me over 25 years ago. Why did I listen to him? I listened because he had the fruit on the tree. He has a wall full of deer, and in 2005 he took the highest scoring Merriam turkey killed in North America that year. When it comes to hunting he is not a man of many words – preferring instead to let his results do the talking. That is another reason I feel blessed to have his counsel. When he speaks it is worthy of my attention.
Like me, Richard started hunting later in life, but for completely different reasons. He was the oldest son in a family of seven brothers and sisters. His father was a dairy farmer who managed large farms and forgot more about dairy cattle than most people will ever know. His mother was the epitome of what the bible calls a “help mate” and lived to care for her husband and children. I know every member of his immediate family and can attest to the outstanding character of both his parents and siblings. Richard knew that his parents loved him, and that love was expressed with discipline and a noble position in the family enterprise. That noble position can be simply described like this – Richard had to work while he was growing up. Today, well into his 60’s, he will tell you that he is a better man for it.
Richard would also tell you that his responsibilities on the farm and to his family were the very thing that kept him from taking his first deer until he was well into his 30’s. He was up working hours before sunrise. You cannot milk 100 head of cattle and be in a deer stand at the same time. Also, you cannot take a day off in the dairy business – because you have to “sell it or smell it.” The cows do not take a day off and neither can the farmer.
Like myself, Richard loves the outdoors and when the opportunity presented itself he made up for lost time by becoming a student of hunting and his quarry. That first deer ignited a passion that motivated him to master his craft. I have always been a “fruit inspector”. By definition that means that I only take counsel from those who have the fruit on the tree that demonstrates they know what they are teaching. Richard has the right fruit and we are blessed to have him. Thanks for being available.