D2Y Outdoors Making Dreams Come True
Austin Solomon finally met his goal of killing a mature buck.
Inspiration appears in various ways, and in some cases, it’s all around us waiting to be noticed. Many times inspiration can come simply by watching those who chase dreams finally meet their goals.
Austin Solomon, 20, of Douglas, lives with a condition called spina bifida, which limits him to a wheelchair. This alone would deter many from being an outdoorsman, but not Austin.
Austin had the privilege of going on a dove hunt this past fall with Devoted 2 Youth Outdoors (D2Y Outdoors), an organization that offers help to youngsters wanting to experience the outdoors.
As is the case every hunting season, social media was boasting pictures and stories from trophy bucks from all over. Austin had killed several young bucks in the past, but nothing that he considered to be a trophy-sized animal. He wanted to harvest a mature buck, and he was willing to do what it took to meet his goal.
After seeing just enough social-media pictures to put him over the edge, he contacted Aaron Wood with the North Georgia chapter of D2Y Outdoors, about helping him finally kill that mature buck. Aaron gladly agreed, and a three-day hunt was set for a quest to take a mature buck.
The chase for a mature north Georgia buck would not be an easy task. Aaron has access to several different properties. However, all his properties are rolling hills and mountains. This wouldn’t work for the hunt since Austin is confined to a wheelchair.
Aaron’s good friend offered up his land in Floyd County to make the hunt possible. Without this access, they were dead in the water. They decided on a box blind that could be accessed from a vehicle. Directly over the box blind, they hung a ladder stand for Austin’s grandfather, who brought him up for the hunt. The preparations were complete, and the hunt was beginning to take shape.
On the first morning of the hunt, Aaron drove Austin and his grandfather directly up to their stand well before daylight, and all three of them got settled in.
Daylight came, and immediately a young 6-point showed himself in a small, freshly mowed section of pasture. Austin decided to pass on the young buck. Within minutes, another buck showed. This time, there was no doubt.
“We’re going to shoot this one, Austin,” Aaron whispered.
The excitement immediately begin to pour out of the blind windows for an opportunity at a mature Georgia buck. Aaron could see the barrel shaking as Austin took aim.
With one deep breath, the barrel steadied and a shot rang out. A dream had been realized on a crisp, November morning. No longer was Austin hunting a chance at a mature buck. He had taken one for himself.
There are few things more gratifying in the outdoor world than to watch a youngster experience the majestic outdoors. An opportunity to be a part of such an adventure makes the hunt a little sweeter.
D2Y Outdoors is making dreams like these come true one hunt at a time. I like to think they are making a lasting impact on young peoples’ lives who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity.
Check out D2Y Outdoors at www.d2youtdoors.org.
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