Growing up in the small town of Bloomfield, Indiana, the outdoors has always been a part of life. Whether fishing for bluegill and bass or hunting deer and turkey, bragging rights have always been around.
Hunting deer has always been my favorite. There’s just something about sitting up in a tree watching the deer below that gets my adrenaline pumping and the perfect recoil of my well-known .44 magnum that gives me that one of a kind rush.
My love for hunting began at age 10 when I killed my first whitetail deer on the same ground my father hunted when he was younger. Everything I know about hunting has come from years of learning from my dad. Learning from him has led to many great hunts together.
November 2014 was the first deer season I was able to hunt on my own. I went to the property where I had killed my first deer. Taking my first deer that season on my own was quite an achievement. That was when hunting deer became really fun to me. I ended up killing three deer that season, sparking a fire in me like never before.
It wasn’t until this past year, after surviving a car wreck and making it back out hunting, that I realized the outdoors gives me a sense of freedom.
It was the new year and I was halfway through my senior year of high school. I was on the academic honors tract and was part of the National Honors Society. Everything seemed like it was going my way until I was in a serious wreck on January 19, 2015.
That is a date I will never forget, and a day I will not remember.
My friend and I drove down a county road that we had never been on before. As we crested this hill, we suddenly came upon an intersection with no stop signs where the blacktop ended with a deep drop off onto a gravel road. We went airborne over the drop off, landing on the gravel forcing me to lose control.
I tried correcting, but the vehicle hit a bank and rolled several times. We were ejected from the vehicle the vehicle as we were not wearing our seatbelts. My SUV was flattened and I was found 96 feet from where the vehicle had landed. I fractured my shin; broke my left femur, left collarbone, both jaws, and the palate of my mouth; and lost six of my top front teeth. On top of that, I also cracked my skull bruising my brain, and fractured my C5-7 vertebrae, leaving me a quadriplegic (paralysis effecting all four limbs).
I was airlifted to Eskenazi Hospital in Indiana, a specialist trauma center, where I spent thirty days. I was then transferred to the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana for another thirty days before being sent home.
It wasn’t until a few months after I got home that it hit me. I realized that I couldn’t do anything I could do before my wreck. However, that changed when deer hunting season came around.
On November 14, 2015, first day of gun season, my father and I went hunting. I managed to get a deer that day and wrote an article about it for Able Outdoors.
I have been helping do some things for the website since. I’ve been trying to help these guys out as much as I can, for I like the idea and it makes me feel better knowing I’m able to contribute to something.
Subscribing to the magazine, I was surprised as to all the variety that was included. I wasn’t too sure as what to expect, but hunting was my main assumption. From hunting and fishing to travel and gear reviews, Able Outdoors is a great read that has it all.
[Mason is passionate about helping others learn how to adjust to their spinal cord injury and become as independent as possible. He started recording videos demonstrating how he does day-to-day tasks, daily living cares, and his favorite activities. His goal is to provide others an example of what is possible. You can view his videos on MASON’S YOUTUBE page.]