Today I was driving to work and the new song by Kenny Chesney, “Ain’t Back Yet” came on the radio. The song talks about the key moments in his life that took him over the edge and changed his life forever.

“I heard a song ’bout a ramblin’ man
Bought a guitar and I started a band
I got a gig at the local Am Vet
I was gone and I ain’t back yet

Lookin’ back at the moments, black and white
I wouldn’t change a thing that changed my life
For the worse, for the better
Man, I was gone, gone forever”

As I listened to this song I couldn’t but help relating it back to my deer hunting obsession. If this was my song it would be talking about the moment that forever changed my life and made me a deer hunting goner forever.

I was 9 years old and up at our family deer camp in Northern Michigan. One of the guys in camp had dragged a big 8 point buck out of the swamp early on opening day, so I was shocked when my grandpa came back in the cabin that evening saying that he shot a nice buck too! We all got changed, grabbed lanterns and headed out to the area that my grandpa shot his deer. I remember as just a young child the unbelievable excitement and anticipation I had as we began to track that buck. We finally came upon the massive 7 point, as it lay perfectly posed on the other side of our stream. As I saw the ivory white tines shine in the glow of our lantern, I stared in awe at the magnificence of that deer. I wondered to myself if  I would ever be able to get a buck like my grandpa had. That night and for the rest of the week at camp, I stood in front of the buck pole gawking at those two giant MI bucks, restlessly waiting for the time to come when I could start chasing whitetails myself.

Little did I know that from that point on I would be hooked and I was gone, gone…forever.

When did you know that you were a goner for deer hunting? Please share your story in the comments section!