Wow is all I can say what a blessing this week was. I have had the privilege now of hunting at the WideRack with Mike Connett 4 years in a row. I love hunting with him and Elana in the Hills of Southeast Ohio, and I pray I can go every year. The first year I went to the WideRack was a gift, an amazing blessing from a friend that I had prayed for and the Lord healed Him.I had no idea what was starting in my relationship with Mike, Elena, Porkchop, and now Sarge that year. I had the privilege of praying for Mikes wife Elena this year and 2 of Mikes friends that all went back to the doctor and the Lord had healed all of them doctor confirmed clean bill of health! The Lord is good. So having the opportunity to hunt with Mike and Elena was a blessing from Mike that I never dreamed was coming. As always the excitement leading up to the week at the Widerack involved struggling to sleep. Each year I have been blessed to be in camp with a great group of guys and this year was no different, I have had a chance to harvest a buck each year and each year the bucks have been bigger. Last year I was unsuccessful due to a poor shot on what would have been my largest buck, but the previous 2 years I was successful. I have loved every minute of the time at the Widerack the good the bad and the ugly, and the bad and ugly were due to my shots and attitude after them last year it had nothing to do with the WideRack Mike or Elena. This year I was able to redeem not recovering my buck. On the morning of Thursday 11/21/2013, I thought it would be amazing to harvest a big buck on my sons birthday. After rattling, grunting and bleating he came in ready to kill the deer that were fighting. I stopped him at 9 yards and shot. This is the biggest deer I have ever seen while on stand. In the heat of the moment I did not realize he was quartering too and the shot went in right behind his shoulder but came out too far back. I thought it was perfect until I saw the deer circle and realized the shot came out back. I still knew he was done, I thought, and a flood of emotions came over me. When Mike came to get me and start looking he brought his dog Sarge. The blood trail was not good. Mike and I came back that afternoon and looked no luck. To say I had a sinking feeling is an understatement. On Friday the other guys in camp needed to hunt the same area because other big shooter bucks had been seen. Mike was very gracious to me as he let me know it would not be fair to the other hunters to look on Friday we would need to wait till Saturday. I knew he was right it would not be fair to Mike or the other guys in camp if we went in and messed up the area that other big bucks had been spotted to try to find him, so I would have to wait till Saturday to look. I had to deal with every emotion you could have over that time period. Although I did think I was loosing my mind as I replayed the shot in my head a million times trying to figure out how I lost that deer. On Saturday morning Mike had organized a search party and I want to thank you guys for helping me. Steve and Ed big thank you they were two of the hunters in camp who could have loaded up and headed home after their hunt was over Friday and yet chose to stay and help. In less than an hour we found him, and I was the one who walked up on him. A great end to the emotional roller coaster, but once you get off you cant wait to get on and ride again. He was only about 50 yards from last blood and on Thursday Mike and I had walked only 30-40 yards from him. The way he fell in a fallen oak tree with no white belly showing caused us to miss him Thursday. The relief of finding him was overwhelming as I began to thank the Lord, the guys who helped, and also think in amazement of the highs and lows of this sport of bowhunting Whitetails can produce. I had replayed the shot in my head a million times and was relieved when we found him that I was not loosing my mind. I am thankful to the Lord the coyotes did not get to him, which was a direct answer to prayer. I have my best trophy to date and a WideRack adventure I will never forget. Thank you Mike, and Elena, I also want to thank Mike for going above the call of duty, he knew I was disappointed losing the meat and took me to his processor and loaded my cooler so I didn't go home empty handed Wow! Mike no words can describe how grateful I am for the Widerack and my friendship with you and Elena. GTBAB (Great to be a Bowhunter)
Mike now has 3 camps the main camp, Oak camp, and the J camp. The Jay camp is 2000 acrs that had not been hunted in about 10 years and he had 26 different bucks on camera that would score over 140 at the J camp. All of my hunts have been on the main camp and besides the one I killed there were some other big ones seen that week. I highly recommend hunting with Mike at the Widerack and look forward to my return for more WideRack adventures.
blessings, Dan Blacksher
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