Brain Surgery to First Buck

Show Notes

This weeks episode on Michigan Wild is with AJ Norman. AJ and Nate are brother in laws and have always enjoyed the outdoors together. Their conversation starts with how Aj got involved/tagged along with Nate at an early age, and how that developed into him wanting to start gun hunting himself. AJ from the start was determined to hold out for a specific type of first buck, and even dreamed of it at a young age. As the conversation progresses Nate and AJ talk about some of the difficult circumstances he has faced growing up. As AJ went through these he latched on to shooting his bow and found comfort shooting and bowhunting. The journey to AJ’s first buck wasn’t easy and he faced a lot of adversity, however last fall it all came together and made the journey totally worth it. Nate and AJ look forward to more conversations leading into the fall as they find target bucks and continue to learn new properties.

Show Transcript

All righty. Welcome to episode three of Michigan Wild was [00:01:00] with Me. And tonight we are gonna do a podcast. My brother-in-law, AJ Norman. How's it going dude? It's

AJ Norman: doing good. Thank you Nate, for having me on. I appreciate it. What

Nate Rozeveld: have you been busy doing,

AJ Norman: Lately? Oh boy. I've been staying busy with work.

Yeah, work at an environmental company. Work at Metaform at work with my dad. Oh, I do.

Nate Rozeveld: I've did that for a long time too. Oh

AJ Norman: yeah. So it runs in the family for both of us, doesn't it?

Nate Rozeveld: Yeah. Working for your dad's good Dad. Good and

AJ Norman: bad sometimes.

Nate Rozeveld: Yep. You get it. Yep, I get it. But no, you're, so I've known you since you were what, eight years old when I started dating your sister?

Seven or eight. Yeah. Yeah. Seven or eight. And that was 15 years ago. Oh

AJ Norman: boy. The time goes fast. Yeah. So how old are you right now? Right now I'm 23 years old.

Nate Rozeveld: Sick. Yeah, you never hated me because you're too little at the time. Exactly right. You got started young. I was cool. I was a cool high school kid that was dating your sister.

Yeah. So everything's been good with that. Left a good impression. That's good. And then it helped that I had a younger brother that was the same age. Yeah. So you guys were like best friends and then, yep. So I

AJ Norman: met Noah with what, second grade I think.

Nate Rozeveld: Yeah. So that'd be, Henry's gonna go in second grade next year.

My [00:02:00] son. So that's how old you

AJ Norman: were? My best friend. Second

Nate Rozeveld: grade. Yep. You guys are still good friends today. Yep. But yeah, I suckered you in cause I took you jet skiing and tubing and all that stuff. That'll do it. Stuff. You know how to keep you on the good grace as a brother-in-law, but no, you've.

You've been my brother-in-law for 10 years and yeah, I just wanted to have you come on and talk a little about your background. We did a podcast a few weeks ago with Ashley and explained her upbringing and hunting and all that and got a good, if you wanna hear a little bit more about her family and that stuff.

She covered that I think pretty good with like your grandpa, how he hunted and how your dad was hunting and he, then, and comes Nate as the boyfriend and you guys had some property and stuff, but you never really hunted much. And I think I took you, oh, did I take you Goose Hunt? Was that the first You did?

Yeah. You did? How old do you think you were when we


AJ Norman: that? Oh boy. We still have those pictures on Facebook. I always get those little flashbacks every year. Oh man. We're so young with us holding up those guns.

Nate Rozeveld: And I think you had a si had a side by side 20 gauge, right? Is that what Yes, you did.

And you and [00:03:00] my brother, we did the apprentice tag, right? Yes, you did. So that's we could do then. And then that's what you guys did. But I remember we didn't have any luck. No, no geese that night. But that was kinda your first thing. Your, you've always been open, like you were always like, let's go.

AJ Norman: Yeah. But I don't know from growing up on the farm, of course we had so many acres, but we weren't opposed to it, but we never really did it though. Cuz grandpa was always, the hunter would always sit on the bucket or whatever, sit in the desk and go hunting at an old school desk, would go hunting.

But my dad never really went hunting after grandpa passed. And I don't know why. I think it was just brought up his memory and didn't want to continue with that. Yeah. That was his

Nate Rozeveld: thing that reminded me of your grandpa. But yeah, he died at a young age, so it mean, were you born yet

AJ Norman: when he passed?

No, I died in 97 and I was born in 2000.

Nate Rozeveld: That's right. So you just missed that. So yeah, Ashley was really young, was that tail end, but I think that was the big thing. But yeah, I know when I first came around, he got, like you said, the old school desk and he had his, wood blinds. Scattered around and.

How big is that buck that he shot that one? It was a 15 point. Yeah. And I never seen that. And I was like, isn't that astounding? That was [00:04:00] here. Like I was like in Michigan, like I didn't really hunt this area of the state, but I was like, no way then yeah, there it was. But so yeah, you were never, no one was really against hunting.

It was just one of those things you guys didn't really do. You're really, your dad's, does a full-time job, owns his own business and then hobby farm. Yep. Also always had cows or some land that he works himself. So the free time really isn't there to go hunting in the fall.

Gotta make time for it. Yeah. So like he, I think that was just one of those things. So yeah, when of my key around you were like, yeah, let's do this. And I know we did some hunting and some fishing and that kind of thing, but. Now, did you sat with your sister when she shot deer? I did. That was really fun.

Yeah. So that was like your first kinda like, experience of seeing something get shot. Yep. And I remember you were pumped. I was

AJ Norman: so excited for that. Yep.

Nate Rozeveld: So yeah, you guys, she, he sat with her, his sister on opening morning and you guys ended up shooting something and getting it and Yeah. You were all about that.

And then, I don't, I know I feel like we, we hunted a couple times the other gun hunted, but you weren't like, Really pestering me to go. You were more [00:05:00] like, I'll go with you, and see you do it. And we did a little small game stuff, maybe very minimally, but, and when you turned let's say getting outta high school, I guess let's back up a little bit.

When did you have some medical stuff going on? Yeah, I know. And I, the, when did that start?

AJ Norman: I have temporal lobe epilepsy, and I would say that started diagnosed, got diagnosed in 2014 when I was obviously 14, but I would say that's been going on since I was 12 years old. I'd say that manifested and I would say the first seizure that I remember that I know of was in middle school.

I was walking down the hallways of the Sparta Middle School, walking out, walked to the wrong locker. Had a weird deja vu feeling, walked past my locker after I had the seizure. Opened the wrong person's locker with a different combination, somehow opened the locker, saw a bunch of different stuff, and knew that it wasn't mine.

Shut the locker. Yeah. Kinda walked away like

Nate Rozeveld: nothing happened. Something's weird going on here, right?

AJ Norman: But luckily with temporal lobe epilepsy, you don't [00:06:00] have the grand mal convulsions and fall on the ground and shake, but I would just blank out a little

Nate Rozeveld: bit and lose time. Yeah. And I then we're going on 10 years that you've had this, unfortunately.

AJ Norman: Unfortunately, but something you have

Nate Rozeveld: to live with. And you have done a tremendous. Job at living with it. Something you have to show her. Yeah. And you have, like you said, you have a full-time job. You do that and like you get done with work and you're helping on the hobby farm, like you're doing round bales and square bales.

Like you're, you have, there's been times when you've had things come up, but you've faced this adversity tremendously. And it's been an inspiration for me. Yeah, you were, I think you remember that was your first seizure, but we didn't really know anything that. Serious until what year? 15.

When it was like, oh, stuff like this is serious. Yeah. Was that about right? Was that 2015? Oh yeah.

AJ Norman: The first, I would say the diagnosed one was the all-star DRA drive-In course. Yeah. That's on a

Nate Rozeveld: Alpine. Yep. You're doing your driver's training. That's right.

AJ Norman: But I still got my certificate. Yep. You power.

Nate Rozeveld: You power through.

Power through. So yeah. You're like that. Will that be like your sophomore year of high school? Yeah. So that was a pretty important time for you and you, this [00:07:00] is when this comes up. And excuse me. And this is something that, we've all, we're a close family and seen you gone through, but, so this transpired.

You ended up having, had to have brain surgery. When was your first brain sur

AJ Norman: surgery? First brain surgery was June 2nd, 2017. I had a temporal lobectomy, right anterior temporal lobectomy and.

Nate Rozeveld: They took a big chunk of your brain out. Oh

AJ Norman: yeah, they did. They took a big fist size of my right. Temporal lobe

Nate Rozeveld: bowel.

Yeah. Like I would say cut a baseball in half. And that's probably at least what they took out. Oh yeah, definitely. Yeah. And so what, that was in June, correct? That? Yep.

AJ Norman: 2017 second 2017.

Nate Rozeveld: Okay. So just imagine you're, you know this kid that's 17 years old. 16, yeah. Started summer, still going to high school.

Dealing with all this stuff and like this has been a, even up to your first surgery. Like you were constantly on different medicine. You were, trying these things that made you feel funny and like trying to figure all this stuff out in life. And then you go and have this brain surgery before you're done with high school and you had it.

And dude, you took that like a champ, like serious [00:08:00] Yeah. That was intense. And then yeah, that, and That was one of How many surgeries total have you had now? So far

AJ Norman: I've

Nate Rozeveld: had three surgeries, three surgeries. And every time you've had that and they haven't gone away your seizures, but like I said, you still deal with 'em and Yeah.

So yeah. Two, you were 17 years old and then I remember you recovered from brain surgery and then, you had quite the year after that, like you thought there was something, you're just learning all this stuff, and where were you at? I guess from a mental capacity, I guess a 17 year old kid trying to finish up high school after having brain surgery, it was tough.

Yeah, it was. And, but you did really well. Yeah. You did. I'm just saying this is a kid going through it and he had a tough, we're trying to get too emotional here, but I just wanna say you're going through some stuff. Yeah. But you're doing good. So we can fast forward to your second surgery.

When did you have your second surgery?

AJ Norman: And then the second surgery was in? The end of August in

Nate Rozeveld: 2019. 2019. Yeah. Okay. So 20 nineteen's an important year. Oh, hunting. Oh, that was important for you. Yeah. Important for me. And for you. So that's what we're looking for. Yep. So I can't exactly [00:09:00] remember the details of how it happened, but it was like, I think you were done with high school.

Did what year did you graduate? I graduated in 2018. 2018. So I feel like when you graduated I was like, dude, you're going through all this stuff. Obviously you having seizures, you're limited on your driving. So I was like, dude, this guy like, and you still were like, you meet my brother, you meet AJ here.

You'd have no idea. He's been through these brain surgeries. Like you have no idea. He has it. It's just you. You've been blessed that it's severe, but you're still able to have a very high quality life, which is great, but you are limited. Like you gotta be safe.

AJ Norman: Unfortunately, the driving thing is the very, for me.

Nate Rozeveld: Yep. 2019 season. I remember we're like, dude, you're totally deer hunting this year. This is the year you're gonna bow hunt and you're gonna, and you had you sat with a gun maybe a couple

AJ Norman: times before? I had a couple times. Luckily with a supervisor, usually my

Nate Rozeveld: dad would go with me. Me? Yeah. Dad would take you out.

And that was our cool thing. As you got older and your sister started hunting, your dad would start going out somewhere too. He would, yeah. And he really. He really enjoyed it. I

AJ Norman: think luckily me being like my grandpa, I think he would like to spend more [00:10:00] time with me. He wouldn't go out by himself cuz it would remind him of his grand or of his dad.

Yeah. But he'd go out and sit

Nate Rozeveld: with me. Yeah. He was making the same kind of memories with you that he got to do with his dad. But so yeah, 2019 was the year that AJ was like, yeah, we're bow.

AJ Norman: So it happens when you're inheriting a bow from your boss. Yeah. And that's,

Nate Rozeveld: oh yeah, that's right. You started, that was job was Yeah.

You were helping him. And he's we talked about it and then all of a sudden you told me like, dude, I have a bow. And I was like, no way. Cuz we are, you're a strong kid, but like we have. Completely different draw lengths. So like this, my type of bow does not work for you. You're but your boss had a bow that was like great for you size wise.

AJ Norman: Inherited a Matthews Z seven was, yeah, it was a

Nate Rozeveld: Z seven or what? Yeah. Or switchback. I think so. No, it was a Z seven. Yeah, I believe so. Yeah. A single cam. Everyone loved that bow when it came out. So you'd hear it this bow and then you had some arrows and some broadheads and like I said, this was like late summer.

Oh yeah. And That's when it was like, this is really happening. Like we were mostly focusing on like gun hunting, like really getting into it, maybe bow hunt. [00:11:00] And I was just struggling to know what like. It'd been a long time since I've been in the, like the bow his size and I didn't really know what to do.

Like my wife has a bow, but like she had really been using it that much for, that was right at the same time she was going back to school and our son was born in 2016, so baby at home, so this is a period I was like, dude, you're between me and my wife. I'm not really, I'm much more versed in arrow setups in both setups now, but that kind of, this is one of the reasons, like I talked last week with Tyler, having my brother-in-law come with me and being new to it, it brought me back to the basics of bow hunting and hunting, which made me kind of fine tune some of my things, and I feel like I'm more well-rounded now. But yeah, you inherit this bow and you start shooting it. I didn't

AJ Norman: have much time to practice either.

But you shot it a lot. Oh yeah. Every night I'd go and shoot it for what, two hours, two and a half hours that night. Just

Nate Rozeveld: trying to critique you and just help all I could. I know I sent lots of videos, a lot of YouTube videos you watched, but like how did you feel shooting that bow? Like why did you, why do you think you liked it so much?


AJ Norman: just think cuz it was my right size. Luckily him and I were about the same size. Yep. It was just the perfect dry [00:12:00] length. Yep. I gave me my confidence back. I think that's, I was gonna say the biggest thing.

Nate Rozeveld: Say it made you feel really good that you could do this, though. I could finally

AJ Norman: do something.

Yes. I couldn't drive, I couldn't really go out and do anything besides that, but I could finally do that. There was something in my life I felt good about. Yeah,

Nate Rozeveld: you could go out back, like I said, we're the parents' property, there's farm fields and stuff, so it's a beautiful setting.

You were able to go out at night and just be you out there, you and the bow, and just yourself and just shoot so tranquil and

AJ Norman: perfect.

Nate Rozeveld: Yeah. And you, I know, dude, you had sent me so many pictures back then shooting and all that stuff, and we'd shoot together and I could just tell you like the fire was lit.

And I was like, oh boy. He's in trouble. He's locked in load and he's ready. So yeah, like I said, that was probably late summer. You got the bow you shot and I feel like you shot really well. Like I remember telling you like I know when I first started bow hunting, if you could hit a pair plate at 20 yards, you're good to go.

That was my grandpa and my dad. Everyone said, and you had one pin and like 20 yards was just as far as you're shooting and. I remember with you like, like I said, the bow fit you really well. Like you were able to get those groups down [00:13:00] really well. Like you were shooting really good at 20 yards. You were even stretching out to 40 yard, just practicing.

But we had the spot, like we had the spot picked out for you all Summer knew, and we had seen some nice bucks and stuff and. I guess go explain like what you were thinking, like you'd, up to this point, you, I've been bow hunting around there and shooting deer and passing deer and you've been sitting with me gun hunting.

We've passed deer. So like you knew what was possible. And you obviously live on this ag field that you see deer all the time. What did you think, cuz you kinda had a kind of a criteria for what you wanted your first buck to

AJ Norman: be when you had this spot all picked out this farm field and in the woods, you told me where they were gonna be coming from.

You knew the patterns we had, the wind all picked out the perfect temperature. But

Nate Rozeveld: how big of a buck did you want for your first

AJ Norman: buck? Oh, I thought it would be this ideal eight pointer, bigger. I had the spread all picked out. I'm like, all right, so if it's gonna be wider than my hands, I'm counting all the

Nate Rozeveld: points.

Yep. You're picky like your sister. That's the thing.

AJ Norman: That's why she picked you, Nate. We

Nate Rozeveld: knew. Thank you. I'll have to [00:14:00] let her listen back to this part. Oh, yes. But no, you, yeah. Which I thought was cool cuz I was like, the first deer that walks by me, I'm zapping because I was like 12, young.

Yeah. About you or you're, 19 years old at the time. You've been around a lot of things like, and you the whole like, You wanted to take like a nice representation of a deer. That was your thing. And I'm like, dude, the first spike that walks by, shoot that thing. Did I not?

Yeah. I was like, dude, shoot it. You, even when we gun hunted before, like we'd had some deer come out and you're like, Nope. Oh, I saw a spike tonight with my dad. And they're like, I was like, why did you shoot it? You're like, nah, I'm just, I'll know. You just kept saying you knew what the, and you had this eight point in your head like that was what you wanted.

Yeah. And I mean you'd see six points, you'd see four points and see spikes. Nope, I gotta pass. And I did ease you into the whole hunting thing cuz like I'm like, I'm crazy when it comes to like my setups and all this stuff. So here I am trying to like, want you to have this like really good hunt.

And then also like I do a lot of hanging hunts, but I also had this double ladder stand that I had used on your parents' property for [00:15:00] like years. Like I set it up for your sister or for Ashley when. We, were younger. That was a thing I just had set up in a spot and I was like, I, me and her would go me and you had sat in it before when you're young.

That was just kinda those things. But yeah, was like, dude, I have the perfect early October spot if the acorns are dropping. And lucky for us that first week of October, acorns were dropping and we knew cuz we had scoured it, you'd always help me with trail cameras and all that stuff back throughout the years, but, Yeah, I remember just being so pumped for that first, we both were, dude, you were, we were like, we need this now.

Is it time? Is it time? Is it, yep. And we had the, like I was really like fine tuning, like access back then, like learning how to do that. Like these smaller, so yeah, there, his, your parents own quite a bit of property and your relatives, but there's mostly ag fields, so it's open ground and we have little pieces of woods that you can hunt.

But. I remember we were like, I remember like we'd send screenshots of Google Maps or Onyx back and forth with each other. Okay, this is how you do this, it do this. Yeah. You're like, is it good? I'm like, no, not today. And do [00:16:00] you remember the night of the first set? That first set? We went out there.

Do you remember when that was? Was it had to be the first week of October. I think it was almost think it was like October 7th. Yeah, seventh maybe. We waited so whole week to go there and we went together and we walked way out of our way across that field. But I was like, dude, you need to walk this way to that spot.

And. And I just wanna say like someone who has seizures, you don't know when you're gonna have 'em. No. Like at this point in time you didn't know, like you still were very like functional, but like you had no, you just lose especially time and place. Yeah. To be very cautious and everything. So here I am, the brother-in-law, like oh, I gotta keep AJ safe.

So thank goodness we had safe lines. Yep. So we were able to do all that in tree stands and we had set some tree stands too through the summer, but we were, that was one of those things like, we need safe line, we need. You needed to be really familiar where you are in case you do get turned around.

So like those first few, like those first few sit, we just, I always went with you, but I remember I was like, I'm gonna sit across this field in this fencer so I can overlook this backside. You go sneak into this ladder stand that's, and I never [00:17:00] showing you that spot. And I was like, dude, there's usually a scrape right there.

I was like, we're not gonna walk over there and see, but there'll be a scrape right there. And I was like, you gotta pay attention cuz they just come out of nowhere. Keep your eye on them and the acorns are falling. We could hear 'em. Yeah, explain I can, you can I guess I, I saw the deer first, but I'm like sitting back in the fence row.

Like we're probably like what, 300 yards apart? I would say so, yeah. And I see a buck and dough like running this fence light, like not much longer. We had only been sitting for a little this is like the first we October and it's two hours before dark and here these deer out. And I see this, it looks like a nice racked buck, like I would say a two year old buck.

Oh yeah. With a dough and out heading towards him. And I'm like, oh my gosh. Yes. And then, I did take over. I saw

AJ Norman: these couple deer running through. I saw this dough. Okay. It's just a dough. So I sit back down and I see another one run through. Oh, there's, it's an eight point. It's an eight point uhhuh. See it run through, but then it turns back around.

I don't think I can get a shot on. Okay. I can get a shot on it. Yep. Okay. It's quartered away. Turns back to me. [00:18:00] Scrap, stand up by the up. By the scrap. The, it's going through the scrape. Yep. So I stand up. Try to get a shot on it. Stand up. Pull my bow back. All right. Okay. It's back by that tree.

All right. That's a 20 yard shot. Pull it back. I'm right by its shoulder. I thought I had a good shot on it. I'm splitting it in half. Get right by that shoulder, let the air go and I hear a crack. So soup or loud crack. And I got scared. I'm like, I didn't think I was too shaky. What's

Nate Rozeveld: going on? Yeah. And I heard that shot from across that field and I was like, oh, he freaking smacked that thing.

And I was like, did he? I was like, I actually thought he might have spined it cuz it was like that loud. I thought I hit a tree.

AJ Norman: I'm like, yeah, that's what, no, I missed it. I'm like, oh no. Yep. I sent him a text message. I. Think, think I hit an eight point, think I hit a tree?

Nate Rozeveld: Not sure. Yep. So now it becomes like every, like for me, being the outsider, like I've shot quite a few deer with my bow up to this point, and the last thing you want is, the [00:19:00] first deer to shoot at, to be a non-lethal shot.

So I'm like super nervous. You are pumped or you're nervous because you didn't know, but you're excited and I don't want you to like, Turn off that excitement because I think if it would've been like, I wanted you to be like what do your emotions feel like? Understand this is part of it.

But like I had shot my first shoot, I think I hit two deer, my bow before I killed one. So I went through that heartache, but like I was so ingrained into hunting I could have probably missed 20 times my bow and still bow hunted every year because like I was a bow hunter, like you're a newer guy.

So as me, I'm like, oh man, he's 19. Like you've never done this before. I want this to be good for you. And literally the first two hours, less than two hours, you sit with your bow. You get this opportunity at an eight point that you've been like wanting for years. Cuz you would pass somebody to your gun.

And But we also were very hesitant cuz you I heard the shot, which was really nice for me. But I remember we went back, waited and you just told me a little bit and you never did see the arrow, correct? No we didn't because you didn't have luminox or anything like that [00:20:00] on which this is a great learning experience.

But yeah, you didn't have anything that, any new hunter. I highly recommend having a light knock just to help. Sometimes it's deceiving, but it helps so. We waited and we went and looked at the blood and we kind, I kind had an idea which way the deer would run. We heard it. You heard it, and we found some blood.

And it wasn't amazing blood, but we found blood and we tracked it. Kinda explained that it was dark and you were like, this is the bill of the woods. Like it's hard. And you's been at track. Jobs the best, not the best. So I was like optimistic but also worried. Hopefully

AJ Norman: optimistic

Nate Rozeveld: at best.

Yeah. And we, so they're just the highest highs. The lowest. The lowest, which is deer hunting. So we tracked it for not very far. Yeah, I would say a hundred yards. Got to the edge of a field and we like looked up at Fred of us and I with my flashlight and I saw deer eyes and I was like, that could have been him.

Don't know. I thought I saw a rack, but like this is a high deer density area. So we were like, okay, we're done for the night. And then you had to work the next morning? Yeah. So Tony [00:21:00] Hill, find it. Fred, my buddy who's gonna be on here. He came out the next day? Or did we do it that night? I can't remember. I think he came back in the morning with him in the morning.

Yep. And then, Long story short, we fouled blood, jumped the deer like quite a ways later. I was like, I actually seen the deer before it jumped. I was like, I think that's him. And the deer jumped up and ran away. Like nothing was wrong with it. And there was like three specks of blood in its bed. So we were like, ah, sorry aj, but hey, I, it's gonna probably live like, and we end up, did we find your arrow?

Yeah, we did. And it did not get much penetration. No, it didn't. And I was like, Ooh boy. So great learning experience. Yep. You still went hunting that year. You still, even after that, you finished the year out strong, didn't have any other opportunities? Nope. No luck. No luck. We had some little bucks, but you still stood firm to that shot.

But then we went through ex, after that season, we went through. A whole complete revamping of your setup. Exactly, yes. And what, yeah, how'd that, how did you, like, how do you like that aspect of the bow hunting thing? I know it was a lot [00:22:00] to take in, but I feel like you understood concepts and we did we get a new bow right After that, right?

Yeah. We went and got you new long range archery. Shout out to them. We hooked them up with a

AJ Norman: bow. 2019 was definitely a learning experience to learn what to do and what not to do. Yep.

Nate Rozeveld: Yeah. And you had fun set in stands and stuff too. Exactly. Yeah. And then, but we beefed up the arrow setup cuz come to find out the arrows that they shot.

Great. Out of that bow. But I didn't understand some of the things I understand now, like arrow flight and stuff like that. But they weren't really shooting that good out of the bow. They shot great groups with field points and that kinda stuff. And we did shoot, I can't remember if it was a mechanical bra or not anymore.

I don't remember, but I know. I was like, okay, we need to beef this setup up a little bit for you cause you have a little shorter drawing than me, fixing things. So we got you new arrows and a new bow going into the 20 season and that was the year of Covid

AJ Norman: And being so inexperienced.

I'm not even sure if I shot those broadheads practice or not. Yeah, I don't even think I did. I think I just took him right out of the box and went


Nate Rozeveld: to, and that might be stream on [00:23:00] shame on me back then. Learning. Me too. Yeah. Oh yeah, you'll be fine. Yeah. Thinking so, you watch a guy shoot a bow and.

I was, we'd watch each other shoot and I was like, dude, you're, that looks, you're golden. Looks great. Yeah. Like it's not sticking to target. Funny. But yeah, I think it was just under spied or something, doing that. But yeah, we learned a lot. And I learned a lot. So then we go to the 2020 year and it was like, okay, we're setting some more tree stands.

Oh. And I think, did you get, and then you got permission on that other piece,

AJ Norman: right? I did, but then 2020 was the year I had surgery on my femur. Of course, I had one good day of deer hunting. And October 1st was the day. I don't know if you've talked about that on here yet, but you got your big buck on October 1st.

I had one good day, and then I had a metal rod removed from my femur from when I broke my leg. That's. That was what happened. And then I was ground hunting for the rest of the year.

Nate Rozeveld: Yep. But you saw deer,

AJ Norman: but it was just really Exactly. No, just nothing big. Lots of spikes and four points. That's what happened

Nate Rozeveld: in 2020.

I need something I just couldn't remember it was. But you got permission on that property though? I did. Yep.

AJ Norman: The neighbors right

Nate Rozeveld: across the creek. Yep. So you got permission [00:24:00] on this little piece and that kind of, we dedicated that to Aj, first of all, it is right by the house. You could walk to it from the house, so you're close and all that stuff.

And we're like, this is your area. So we ran trail cameras and I in 2020, I told you all this information. I was like, aj, I, this is what I know. What do you gonna do with it? And you like you'd learned a lot. Yeah. In 2020 and I think. Then going, you had the surgery? Yep. The leg.

So now maybe you had all these brain surgeries. Poor dude gets his femur jacked up on a quad accident and then needs that removed. So yeah, that kind of shot your 2020 season up, you gun hunted. And you had, did you have a, you had a one opportunity probably gun, right? Outta a buck. I did, yeah. But it just was too thick and didn't quite get on 'em. So what about 21? I'm trying to think how going into 21 season, we had a lot of nice bucks. We had trail camera data from. That new property. Yeah. And we, I

AJ Norman: think 21 is when we saw Curly,

Nate Rozeveld: right? Yep. Curly. That was the buck we named him. Yeah. So we kinda learned the new property, like the [00:25:00] approach I always have done, and I worked great for this, spot was like, let's try to set up a few different spots that help us with our normal wind and then we use the trail cameras to tell us when the deer are in those areas.

Because you can have estimated times where you think they're there, but. We had no idea. Like we knew the deer in the area, but we don't know this properties are spread out. It's do they like to be here the first week of October? Where are the acorn trees you're trying to scout like in the summer and then like crop rotation?

And all this stuff, but yeah, we 21. What? Yeah. How'd your both season go for 2021? Because this is year going into 19. Was your first year, 22nd year going into your third year? We're I never talking like This is your year, aj. Yeah, because No, no femur surgery. Like you're good. Yeah. What happened? Oh boy.

Do you remember? I know it was rough. Why

AJ Norman: was it so rough? I am trying to think.

Nate Rozeveld: Yeah, I know. We, I feel like it was a off year for some reason. I Maybe busy. You were in any brain surgeries? No brain surgery in 21, but I feel like it was I don't think I [00:26:00] really even had that good of a year in 21.

Was it covid year? No, that was 20. I know we, I think we struggled because you were really busy with work and then. Like when we had our cold fronts come in, you had to work an eyeball. I had to work also. Like we couldn't quite time. Our cold fronts out right for that. Cuz October, honey, we've, we learned, you learned really quick, like serious.

There's a seriously big difference between a nice, sunny, normal day. Then all of a sudden you get that 10 degree f it's like a light switch goes off. And you, I that you got, by this point you were like showing me like future, like I think I'm hunting on this Thursday night or I'm gonna try to do that.

But yeah, 21 was just weird. It didn't really work out. I feel like I. You'd seen quite a few deer. The one spot was dead because there was no acorns. I do remember that. It was really low on acorns in a couple spots. So that season came and went. Seen deer, lots of dough went by. Nothing big. You might have seen a couple little bucks, I think maybe, cuz I think I feel like the whole rut I was out of state and then you had something come up so you couldn't hunt.

AJ Norman: I think that might be the first [00:27:00] GFS year

Nate Rozeveld: trade. It might have been shows for those trade shows. Shows trade shows, shows that you work. Yeah. So like I feel like that was just the timing was around, but we still had trail cameras

AJ Norman: running and I think that's when we found Shawn's property across the creek,

Nate Rozeveld: right?

Yep. So we, 21 was when we're like, we need to do the other spot and do that. We left trail cameras running end of the year. I remember, this is what I remember from 21 end of the year, you compiled. I was, I let them be. Those are your jam. Like you're doing this is your baby, you. So it pulled all your cameras and I was like, just go through your computer and see if you can find anything that's, like that you can use for the following year.

And you did find a spot that there was a lot of bucks. Oh yeah. And that was, what time of year was that? Do you remember? What was it like? I wanna say it was like the last few days of October, right? Yeah. And then going in November. Yeah, definitely towards the end of it. So we had a stand there already, right?

And we didn't, you sat it maybe a couple times, but didn't see much, so he left the camera there and you were like going into 20, as soon as you pulled that, I know. You're like, I am shooting one of, I knew yes. You're like, I am shooting a buck in that stand [00:28:00] this time of year. So yeah, you go through, you're shooting your bow again all summer.

You're loving it.

Practice. Shoot. Dude, you shoot, I shoot my compound a lot, but you're like giving me a run for my money. Like you shoot that much and it's so fun to see you go through that. It's such a good tool for you to be able to, it's like a big stress relief and you still got all this stuff going on.

You still have, you're still having seizures. Occasionally you're going through all this life stuff, but you're the one consistent thing that always, I know. It's cheaper than

AJ Norman: a therapist when you don't break those arrows. Yes.

Nate Rozeveld: And you just feel good. Yeah. Like you're so happy. Like cheap workout too.

Yeah. Doing that. Love it. So yeah, go like lead into our 20, I guess you probably know the dates a little better than me. Yeah. But what kind of happened with the derailment of 22? We thought as far

AJ Norman: as the surgery? Your third surgery? Most recent surgery. Oh, she's peak. Yeah. So September 28th. Dot. The third brain surgery was insane.

I got a call I would think like four days before. What are you doing September 28th?[00:29:00] Nothing. Why? This is Spectrum Health Now. Corwell Health and Grand Rapids for us. Our hospital. Yep. I can be there. Why? Oh, it's time for your third brain surgery. We're gonna put in an RNs for those of you who don't know, as a responsive NeuroPace device, which shocks your brain into not having seizures.

And that got put in for me and the right temporal lobe and on the left side of my brain to stop those seizures and that got put in at the hospital. A four day notice. A four four day notice. Exactly. And people are usually in the hospital for a week. And of course I wanted to get back to hunting. Yep. So I was out.

The next day.

Nate Rozeveld: Yep. You were like, I am not staying in this house all. No. I wanted to

AJ Norman: be out the same day, but they couldn't get the paperwork done at time. Yep. So I was out the next day. Yeah. You're a champ

Nate Rozeveld: at brain surgery at this point. Yep.

AJ Norman: Third time is usually a charm. Yep.

Nate Rozeveld: So we. The first you were like, I want a [00:30:00] bow hunt, like 20 suck.

Cuz I had the femur, surgery 21 was a rough year. This was gonna be like the year cuz we had all this intel and we had been seeing a lot of nice bucks and then that bomb gets dropped on you and Iwhenever we're sitting there talking or I know you're really heartbroken and we're like, dude I don't, this is gonna be rough.

And I was like, Hey man, like this might be the best thing for you at this time. Like I remember you saying like you're grateful that we do live somewhere close to Grand Rapids area, where you can have this, good healthcare and that kinda stuff and help with these surgeries, but, And you were like, I don't think I have any weight restrictions.

That was like going to the surgery.

AJ Norman: Do, that was the first thing I asked before I went under, am I gonna be able to bow hunt after I wake up? I don't see why not. What's your draw length and your weight? I'm trying to think. I pull it back to probably about my ear and I think it's about 60 or 70 pounds.

Nate Rozeveld: Yeah. You're just out and he. Said yes,

AJ Norman: Cause I don't really know much about bows, but I think so.

Nate Rozeveld: So I remember you were like, dude, I'm getting home and I'm bow hunting October 1st. And then you had a checkup, right? Yep. And [00:31:00] then what ha, what did you ask on this

AJ Norman: checkup? Can I go bow hunting?

Yeah, I don't see why not. And then

Nate Rozeveld: he was like, what's the pound? Or then you, then he said later on you have a weight restriction. What was that weight restriction? Five pounds or something? Yeah, it was, and you're like, how do I, how can I bow hunt? And the guy's what do you mean?

He's dude, I have 65 pounds or 60 pounds, I gotta pull back. He's there's no, you're, there's no chance you're going on. He's you want your, you want to have internal bleeding? And yeah.

AJ Norman: He's do you want me to pop your stitches?

Nate Rozeveld: Yeah. And you were heartbroken. Like I never, how sad you were.

It was so bad. We found out. I was so upset and we were like, oh my gosh. It's like I felt it. I don't

AJ Norman: know who was more devastated?

Nate Rozeveld: You or me? I, yeah, we were in the dumps. We were crash, falling, just like rough man every, and I remember hearing we'd talked about the phone on this, and then I never thinking about it and I was like, dude, this.

Like you said, like you're a very, responsible young man. Like you work your butt off, you do all these things in life and it's every time you've had [00:32:00] adversity. And I was like, I can't do, I can't take these brain surgeries for you though. Id love to, but I can help you hunt and I can help you deer out.

Get enjoyment outta that because it is so fulfilling. It's a reward. Cuz like you put the work in, you've actually seen the work. Produce results. Yeah, just my little reprieve. Yeah. Like it. So here I am. You're just heartbroken. And I was like, dude, I don't even know if I want to go hunting.

Like I was like just distraught over this. And then, do you remember there was a weight limit? And I remember you telling me what it was. I was like what can you do? Cause I was thinking, maybe we'll get him like a bullet 15. It might've been 15 pounds. Cause I was like maybe it's 30 and you could pull back like a 30 pound recurve or something.

And then it dawned on me, I was like, crossbow and. I'm not a crossbo guy by any means. I don't know much about him. I, I have a grapple that uses one. My uncles have used him in the past also, I. But like my experience with a crossbow nonexistent. So I started calling people I know, and I was [00:33:00] like, do you have a crossbow?

They're like, yeah. And I was like like what? Pull it back? Like, how's that? They're like, no, you gotta pull it back. It's could be pretty, pretty strenuous to do that. And then I was like, I remember seeing one, or someone told me about a crank crossbow. And then once I found out they made them things, I was on a mission and I went to the pro shop and I was like, I need a crossbo that's got a crank on it cuz my brother-in-law has been through enough and this dude's hunting this year.

And I bought you one and I am so happy I did because that is why Crossbo season is legal in Michigan, is for you are the perfect example for this and, might get some hate on that. But if you're an a bodied dude, like just pull a compound bow back if you can. Now if you have some, like I have a friend that's got, some sight trouble.

Compound is tough for him. With his way, his eyes are, he uses a crossbow, great. My grandpa, older gentleman, do all that stuff. I think you're on the same boat. If you have a physical issue, use a crossbow cuz you want to get out there. It's just hard for me to see a dude that's like my age or like super physically fit or more the cable [00:34:00] just reverts to a crossbow.

That's a whole thing. But that's just always been my mindset like, Crossbows are for people who need it. They can't hunt. They can't hold the compounds to use a crossbow. That's just how I've been. But then this, I was like, dude, we can get one with a crank. It's five pounds only to crank this thing back.

You're hunting. We're like, yeah. So I buy one. We get it all set up for you and you. I brought it over to your house. I was ecstatic. And you shot that first shot at 20 yards and you boom, you about did a back flip. So awesome. And you have this big bandage on your head still and like you're still recovering.

Looking outta one

AJ Norman: eye. I'm swollen shut.


Nate Rozeveld: hit the bullseye. Face is swollen. Nailed it. And that was so cool, that smile. I wish if we were better recording crap like that would've been the Oh yeah. Seriously. Awesome video to have. So we're like AJ's back in the game, but then you had to wait a little bit to climb a, the next hurdle was getting in a tree.

Yeah. So like you had to wait a little bit for that, right? Or did he let you?

AJ Norman: I probably shouldn't have, but I'm still gonna do

Nate Rozeveld: it. You did it. But there was like, we were smart. I know you didn't go October. It was like [00:35:00] brain surgery 28th in a tree. October 1st. This was like, probably like a week, later.

But yeah, you were back. And then we moved through the season and you had been seeing 22. I feel like I was seeing a lot of good bucks. Yeah, they just quite weren't quite in range. They were a little far

AJ Norman: away. Lot of, little far. Lot of the thicker brush. Yeah.


Nate Rozeveld: you were seeing stuff.


AJ Norman: yeah. I knew it was definitely the season. I'm like, yeah, there's something on my side. Uhhuh.

Nate Rozeveld: And then. I had a one deer, I was hunting on the other, like a mile or mile and a half away that I was like, dude, I'm hunting this deer. The rest of the place is yours. Let's do this. And that deer was, didn't show up until later in the year.

So like I remember I had went up north to hunt my grandparents and. That was like a good cold front cold. A good cold front was coming through. And did you take some time off of work for this?

AJ Norman: No matter fact. Fact, it was October 27th and I was actually at the hospital. I had my brain surgery at and at my dad's company I was fixing [00:36:00] a vinyl mural that was on the wall and I was at work.

And I only had 45 minutes of hunting left. And I got home and I checked my watch. I'm like, am I gonna go hunting? Come on. And

Nate Rozeveld: I never telling you, dude, gotta go that spot. That spot had the bucks cruising at this time. And there was a scrape. We actually made a box scraped there, right? I think so.

I did. It was this pur dude at this spot is muddy. Like I'd never tell you, like I don't even care if you have 45 minutes left because you can sneak into this spot so easy and there's water to block some of your noise. You gotta cross the water. Pop up into the tree, ran the edge of water. These deer, I'll come to you and that's exactly what I did too.

Yep. You snuck in there. Yeah. Crazy 40. So first deer you get shot at, you barely sit down. Shoot a deer. And then now this, as this story's coming about, we're getting to the story. What, how does this transpire? You get set up?

AJ Norman: Drive my blazer down there to my neighbor's barn. You can drive because

Nate Rozeveld: it's on dirt road,

AJ Norman: so don't tell it's on a dirt road.

And a four wheeler. Yep. Four wheeler. Yep. And I go down there, walk between his [00:37:00] trees. You have to cross the creek. So there's a, he has a broken down bridge that goes across the creek. Just like you said, it's around the bend of pine trees. Yep. Climb the tree. Pull up the crossbow. I think I have what, 15 minutes left?

See a few deer run across me, couple dos, and then I hear something, I'm like, oh no, it's time grunt. Was

Nate Rozeveld: he gro? I see him. Yeah, he was grunt and that's

AJ Norman: right. And I get down on my knees, I'm starting to shake. I'm like, oh, I think it's him. And then I, he's not stopping, so I grunt back to him.

He stops and looks up to me. And that the crossbow has a sight on it. Yep. And I just put it up to him, put it right behind him. And I thought I missed, cuz it goes so fast. It goes right through 'em. I'm like, no, not again.

Nate Rozeveld: Yep. And so I'm hunting up doors and I had a great night also and I was sitting on scrapes and I had a bunch of bucks come around and I remember I was just, you called me and I was either almost down my tree or about and you're like, I was like yelling over the [00:38:00] phone.

I didn't even care. I was like, no way you did it. You're like, I think I missed dude, there's no way you missed like

AJ Norman: 25 yard chip shot. Yeah. I

Nate Rozeveld: was like, you did it like just dead on. Yep. And I never just be like, just walk. Where you thought he went and there should be blood pretty quick.

And I think we were on the phone still, dude. We were like loud. We were jumping like, I was like, okay, don't be too loud. Cuz he couldn't be, maybe he's alive or whatever. But we were just so pumped. And you found blood? Oh yeah. Or did you find the deer

AJ Norman: first? I found the arrow. The arrow was just completely pink.

Sheen to

Nate Rozeveld: it. Yep. What? Every bow hunter.

AJ Norman: Loves. Yes. Yes. And I remember calling my dad and I call him, I'm like, I think I got him. I think

Nate Rozeveld: I got him pumped up like awesome. And then the deer ran what? Like not even 30 yards. It's dead. Like the just per polar opposite of your first deer. Exactly. And this was made up for it.

Dude had brain surgery less than a month before this almost a month of the day. Yeah. Got out because it was just the right conditions. Yeah. You might've had some stars in line because it's not ideal. No. Like you per, you would've loved to have been set up earlier, but like this [00:39:00] front came through in the right wind and I think it's pretty awesome from going from not being a bow hunter from in 2019, being your first year to 22, understanding concepts like, you're a lot, you were a lot farther ahead of me than I was four years in bow hunting or three years in bow hunting and made sense.

And you've stuck to a plan. And you got rewarded and it worked out and it was fantastic. Like we're just pumped. It was so cool. And what was it for an animal? How many points? It

AJ Norman: was a nice eight point. It was the perfect one I wanted too.

Nate Rozeveld: Yeah, it was, I would say two and a half year old, 8.0. Yeah. And you know you're getting a shoulder mounted, right?

Yep. It's right at the taxidermist right now. Tax now. But yeah. Beautiful buck, like I way bigger than the first few bucks I ever shot. And definitely paid off. But That was pretty

AJ Norman: cool. I saw it, he toppled over himself hitting the dead tree stump.

Nate Rozeveld: Yep. That was cool. I wish I was there, but I got to enjoy the excitement over the phone and do that, and we celebrated the next day.

But yeah, pretty fantastic. So that was AJ's [00:40:00] journey to shoot his first buck. What a journey. Worth it. Yeah. Would you, yeah. You do say it's still like, All those trials and tribulations kinda disappear once you have that success, right? Yeah, they do. Yeah. So yeah. What so far this year you're shooting your compound, obviously.

Yeah. You've been, since your last surgery, you've been doing really well. The, your seizures are not gone, but everything's going well. You've got no restrictions other than driving. Yeah, and

AJ Norman: I'm actually going to the neurologist tomorrow. They're gonna turn that device up to, I believe, six volts.


Nate Rozeveld: Yeah. So make it get little po.

AJ Norman: Oh yeah. It's a little bit scary when it goes off. You feel the little poke in your left arm, but you get used to it every time. So here's the

Nate Rozeveld: deal, like if anyone in life is going through stuff and you think you have it bad, there's always someone that's got something else going on.

And you're, I'm fortunate enough to have that be my brother-in-law, that I can look you, ground me

AJ Norman: very quickly and see, I think that about other people

Nate Rozeveld: too. That's just a good po That's why you have a good attitude. Yeah. Like you do, you handle all this adversity. You're still getting after it.

You're still [00:41:00] enjoying the outdoors, you're doing all these things and it's just, it's so cool. But yeah. And I'm glad you're doing really good and Yeah, you're shooting your bow. How's your bow shoot? How's your bow shooting this summer? You still shooting really well? Yeah. Still out there doing it. Yeah.

I feel like it's a tradition for you to be like, I just shot my bow, and we do a big fist bump and it's like, how's it going? We're like, yeah, it has started. But yeah, you're fixing tractors on the side. You're, you're doing all these things that are just pretty awesome.

Yeah, just stay busy. Yeah. I love it. Like you're just, in the world we live in nowadays, it's pretty easy to just. Everybody's on their phone now. Nowadays. Yeah. And that's not, you feel bad for me. Nope. That's not you. And you're tearing it up. And you're killing it. And I think you're, that's a well-deserved year and I hope there's many more for you.

But do we touched base on Curly, that was a buck we named. Oh yeah. And we, did you see him at you? You might have seen him maybe once last year. Ah, just once, but too far away. Too far away. So we think he should still be around. I think he should be what, an eight point this year? He should still be.

Yeah. He's been, he has been eight last two years, so I assume so. Unless he throws something, but. We've been [00:42:00] putting choke cameras out cuz we're waiting until Labor Day weekend. That's gonna be our big, that'll be fun. Our big weekend we kinda push, I got the batteries out right now. Yeah. Batteries are expensive and it's oh, but yeah, we're gonna do it this year.

We're gonna have a big Labor day weekend party and then that'll be fun. Do that and see how that works. We just lost too many cameras last few years. Summertime. Yeah. People taking em No, like I did from ants and stuff and a couple of your cheaper cameras, they kinda stopped working.

So it's like the less they're in the woods running, the longer they should last when you use them. So we've. I mean we you, it's weird because, have all these people talk about velvet bucks and stuff and we, it's all dependent on the area. Cuz usually if we see the bucks in the summertime where we hunt, they're usually around at some point during the season.

So those summer trail camp tricks are cool, but we don't really need 'em. You know what they'll be Yeah. Just know what they be. But other than that you're, we're just staying out of our spots until Labor Day weekend and just seeing how that works. Cause smart. Yeah, doing that, but you should see

AJ Norman: what they're looking like out in the alfalfa fields right now.

Nice. We just bailed that. Hey. And they were not happy we were taking their food. Taking their food. [00:43:00] Yeah.

Nate Rozeveld: But no. So is there anything else you wanted to share, with that story or your journey of bow hunting? I hope

AJ Norman: we're gonna have a successful year this year too. I think. We'll, for

Nate Rozeveld: both of us, I think we will.

There's some good there's some good prospects. I was gonna ask you, we've talked about this, are you thinking this may be the year that you can do some hanging hunts with me? Like we both go to the same tree, like we talked about before. I climb up the tree like I normally do. And then you follow up behind me with a tree stand.

I think we should do that this year. Sneak.

AJ Norman: That'd be fun. I'm not scared of heights or anything about having. A

Nate Rozeveld: easier, that'd be fun. Yeah, exactly. Everything's going good finally. So yeah, and we'll use a lifeline and do that, but I think that would be cool. Oh yeah. So I think that what would be really cool is if we can shoot a bucket.

I can videotape you, shoot with your compound. That'd be pretty sweet. So why don't you have any, I have a GoPro. You do? Why don't you wanna use your compound or your crossbow again? Does there, have you thought about that?

AJ Norman: Just because I have seizures doesn't mean that's gonna be a cop out.

Nate Rozeveld: I love it.

No, not trying to stir the [00:44:00] pot. He told me that about peed my pants cuz that was so funny. He's oh, just because I have seizures doesn't mean I need to use that crossbow. I was like, but hey. I don't think that took any away thing away from your first buck for last year. It doesn't. That was, it doesn't.

So we can razz every what we want about crossbows, but if you get out there and hunt and you're shooting with it, hey that's good on you and yeah, still pretty awesome. I would've popped on the tree stand. Yeah, dude, it was so exciting. No, I think, we'll, yeah, I think we'll have a good year, I think.

When's Henry getting out there? So Henry, your son. I know Henry's been talking about it. He so he's gonna be, he's just turned seven. He turned seven in March, so he'll be seven for this year. And he's been around a lot of deer getting Yeah. Killed with a bow and a gun. And last year he was on, we bought him a tag.

The night before opening day, because we seen a buck driving up north that ran across the road by where we can hunt. And he's dad, I think that's the perfect size buck for me. And I was like, you really wanna shoot that? He's yeah. I was like we'll get you a tag tonight and you can shoot him tomorrow.

He's [00:45:00] let's do it. So we got all the, got him a tag and everything, and. We hunted all day, opening day, gun season, sat all day, but we're cushy. We got that nice blind. I remember the video of all the snacks and the food. Oh yeah. We were cooking mac and cheese and the blind, like we live good and we're deer hunting up north, but for gun season is more about hanging out with family and just being comfortable and so I remember he, he did sit all day.

We didn't go back to the house

AJ Norman: at all. That's pretty impressive. For a seven year old. Six year old

Nate Rozeveld: then seven, six last year. Yeah. So then we went the second. We went the second day and we hunted in the morning, went back for lunch, and then went back to another spot at night. And we were in a el pretty high up, elevated blind.

And really nice buck actually came out and it was an eight point, it was probably like a two, maybe three year old, eight point probably. It was big. Like I would've been pretty I was almost like, this might be too big for him to shoot, but I was like, what do you think buddy? He's yeah. I was like, I'm gonna shoot that one dad.

So he was all on my lap. And this. I literal, literally do not want to push this on him. So like for him to be like, I wanna shoot a deer tomorrow, [00:46:00] the night before opening day. I was so shocked and excited. I was like, I have my two 70 that's full size and I have a youth model 2 43 at home, but I'm, nowhere near home currently.

So I didn't really have much prep work for him. He shoots a BB gun and shoots his bow and like that kind of stuff. So this is not ideal circumstances that might be pretty big. But he was on my lap and he had the gun and I helped line him up and he had the buck and the scope a couple times, but it was, he was bumping dos, you know how they do that whole lip curl?

And push him around the field. And he was doing that and every time he was ready, he'd move and then Henry would struggle to get him back to the scope. It finally got overwhelmed. So I was like just instantly dude, it's no big deal if you don't shoot that buck right now, like it's fine.

I was like, how about I shoot one of those doughs standing over there? He's yeah, dad, do that. So then I dusted a dough right when that buck was out in that field. But, so maybe we'll never see that deer again cause I educated him. But no, I made it turned a really stressful circumstance for him into that's good word.

Got a do experience. So now fast forward to now. He's like talking about wanting to shoot one with his gun. So [00:47:00] I think this year I don't know if I'll do the youth hunt with him because I have like my own opinions on the youth hunt. But I think, I don't, I'm not against it, but I'm not really like for it.

I think what we'll do is try to get him to shoot the gun a few times. I have I got that silencer and a subsonic ammo. Try to have him shoot that, but that's good. If he, at least if he goes out somewhere and has that gun and maybe shoots a deer, it'd be awesome, but we'll just smokes one.

Yeah. His luck one of the big ones that's gonna come out and be like, I haven't seen that deer in three years, and he is gonna smoke it. But I guess that is just be like father, like son, you, actually. Maybe I will just shoot it myself. Like why does he get to shoot that? But no, I think he'll get into that.

Eight years old, he'll be, seven. When did you shoot your first one? I didn't shoot one. We couldn't shunt until you could bow hunt when I was 12. And you gun hunt when you're 14. So I didn't shoot my first deer until I was 14.

AJ Norman: I shot mine when I was 22. Don't feel so

Nate Rozeveld: bad. Yeah, true.

You went through a little bit more than me. Yeah. You've had three brain surgeries. I haven't had any of those yet. I [00:48:00] probably need one. Probably I'll recommend. No, he'll be, that'll be something, I'm looking forward to this fall doing that with him. Ashley is gonna try to bow hunt some more.

Yeah, she, hasn't really done it much of, she had time though. She should now, because she's not in school anymore. That's good. So this is her first fall of, not a new job and all that. So we might be me, you and her,

AJ Norman: that would be fun getting back out there, scouting everything

Nate Rozeveld: out.

And I think that will help cuz like we have, I've talked about this a little bit, but We got a lot of different spots and it's not like these big continuous spots. It's like you gotta go down the road for this little spot. You gotta go down the road for this little spot. Then you're around the corner and it's like, they're so little, like the deer just in there and out and you're limited on when you can sit there.

So like trying to be strategic, but sometimes there's dude, this cold front's really good. This wind works for three or four of our spots. And me and you were like which spot do I go to? And I'm like, dude, I have no idea. Gamble. You gamble. Yeah. So I think maybe having another person that's out there, if she does, it's like, Hey, test dummy.

Go sit over there. [00:49:00] Try it over. Yeah, try it over there. Or let's do this. Cause that's kinda what we do. We always bounce having I used to have all these property to myself to an extent. Like I just hunted it, but I enjoy it much more now. It's more fun with more people too. Yeah.

Having you there, like now I'm not sitting here saying, Hey everyone who needs a spot to hunt, come hunt with me and aj. No, I'm saying like having a brother or brother-in-law or like a close friend to share a property or properties together. We don't really care. Oh. We're like, Hey dude, like you're trying to get on this deer.

Like I think that's a great spot. Or like you have limited time, so Sometimes I can get outta work a little easier than you. So I go to the spots that are a little farther off a road or I have to like park somewhere and walk a long ways to get in there. And you take the ones that are easy to get to, but like last year that paid off big time for you cuz you got to that easy spot and smoked your first bucks.

We're definitely of like strategic, like trying to pinpoint these things. But I think having a little more intel and people out there dude, we have some good cold fronts. Like we should all be sitting in decent spots. You never know cuz What was that one buck we had? [00:50:00] We'd see him busy roads.

He'd be on other sides of busy road. Yeah. And we're like, what is, see this deer doing like you're hunting him in one spot and he is across this huge, this busy road and what are you doing over there? Is that the one that you were eyeing

AJ Norman: from that cornfield?

Nate Rozeveld: Yes. It was just like, yeah, it just so you never know.

But no, I think I think we've been pretty blessed and I'm looking forward to this fall and. Hopefully you'll have you on for another Buck story. That'd be awesome. Thank you for having me. Yeah, dude, I don't know if it gets much more like picture perfect hop into your set, but comes out. You got to hear a buck gruin bumping a dough smoke some October 27th, right by a scrape.

You made a tree stain you helped hung, and a trail camera that you had sit all year and you knew had to wait until the end of October to hunt that spot. Boom. Dead in 30 yards is yes. Right after brain surgery, right after brain surgery. Surgery. Can it be any better than that? No, that's an awesome story and.

Hope we did it justice, and I hope that you, I think your story could encourage a lot of people who have maybe not gotten into bow hunting, get into it like, Dude, it's helped me out a [00:51:00] lot. It's inspiring. It's helped me like, like I was telling Tyler last week get down to the basics. Okay you asked great questions.

Why do we sit here? Why does the wind need to be this way? Trying to teach all these things. And cuz sometimes we just take things for granted. Oh, I can't hunt there because of that. And then you like asked me why. So I think about it and I'm like Actually, if we set the tree stand there, we could probably hunt this scrape, or we could do this.

So it's like really helped slow me down instead just being like nonchalant no, not gonna happen. And so it's been really good. But yeah, thank you for this and yeah, congrats in your book. Pretty soon you'll have that mount on your wall. Yes. Excited. Are you gonna have it in the bedroom or were you gonna, you have a good spot picked up for it, or not quite

AJ Norman: yet?

I don't know. We might move it around a little bit to see where it fits the best in the house. You

Nate Rozeveld: don't do that. There's nothing wrong with that. But yeah, I guess encourage anyone. Oh, also if you wanna do the back country hunters and angle back. Country hunters and anglers. I think I'm saying that right.

Bha, if you go on their Instagram or Facebook page, they have that meeting coming up in a few weeks. I believe it's the, whatever, the 20 [00:52:00] next week, the 27th. It's either this week or next week. I was supposed to look into that, but I didn't. I can't go cause I'm booked this weekend. I'm booked next weekend.

It's check out if he wants to go to that. And we talked about some more last week, but yeah, look into that if you want to go, but, Yeah. Thank you aj. Looking forward to the next one. You'll have to be on and keep killing it, dude. Will do. Thank you. All right, you guys have a good one.[00:53:00]