Meeting the Bone Collector Crew
10/17/2011 8:54 PM
He doesn't harvest big bucks. He judo chops freak nasty daddy rabbits.
He doesn't just settle for a fist pump when he makes a great shot. He turns his bow into a guitar and strums it like he's on stage with Uncle Ted.
He's Michael Waddell, one of outdoor television's most popular hunters…and I had the chance to meet him.
My boyfriend, Brian, loves outdoor TV and tends to control the remote so I watch a variety of shows on the Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel whether I want to or not. I don't mind watching some of these shows, but they certainly aren't my favorite. Sometimes I can't handle the stars of the shows. Most of their comments are too scripted and their acting skills are too stiff.
However, there is one man I love to watch. Bone Collector and Realtree Road Trips star Michael Waddell. He's humble, confident, and full of personality. Every time I watch Michael on TV, I keep a box of Kleenexes next to me because I know I'm going to end up laughing until I cry. Brian and I have always said we would love to hang out with Michael if we had the chance.
So when we heard that Michael would be coming to DeerFest in Oshkosh, Wis., this summer, we were pumped to have the chance to meet Michael in person.
On the weekend of DeerFest, Brian's parents and brother rode the 3 1/2 hours with us to meet Michael. When we arrived at the event, we were disappointed to see a sign at the front door informing us that Michael Waddell's flight had been delayed, and he was expected to arrive in three hours. We decided to walk around and see some of the other hunting celebrities and vendors until then.
When it was almost time for Michael to arrive, we went up to the Bone Collector booth and asked Travis "T-Bone" Turner if Michael was on his way. We were disappointed again. T-Bone said Michael's flight had been delayed again, and he wouldn't arrive for about another hour.
At this point we were worried that Michael might not show up at all, but we couldn't do much about it so we looked at some of the other booths again even though we had seen them all already.
As we made our way through the crowded building, I spotted a small pro-shop's booth that I had overlooked before. There was a lone Hoyt Kobalt on a table with a handwritten price tag dangling from its cam. I had been casually looking for a new bow for a few months, but I wasn't too serious about buying one because I hadn't been able to find one that I liked…until now. The sleek shape and detailed camo pattern of this bow were beautiful. I showed the bow to Brian who agreed that this was a good bow for the price. As we waited for someone to help us with the bow, Brian mentioned that Michael shoots a Hoyt bow. I was sold. I bought the bow just as it was announced that Michael had arrived.
Brian and I got in line to get our picture taken with Michael and to get my new Hoyt bow signed. As expected, the line was long. We checked the DeerFest schedule and realized that the Bone Collector crew was scheduled to do a seminar in an hour. The line was crawling, and we weren't sure if we would make it to Michael before he had to leave for the seminar.
We stood in line for 55 minutes before we were finally able to see Michael in the distance. A voice came over the intercom announcing that the Bone Collectors seminar would begin in five minutes. There were about 10 people to go before we would get our chance to meet Michael…if he didn't leave first.
It was officially time for the seminar to start, and there were still three people in front of us. Brian's family waited by Michael with cameras in hand. As we waited, I saw Brian's brother pull T-Bone aside and whisper something in his ear. I was sure he had told T-Bone to give us bunny ears or deer antlers in the picture. Great. We might not get to take a picture with Michael, and if we did, it would be ruined by whatever Brian's brother had cooked up.
The girl in front of us started to walk away, and it was our turn. I took a step forward, and T-Bone said, "Michael, we gotta go. Let's go!"
Michael looked up and said, "Time to go? Okay." T-Bone slapped his hand on Michael's shoulder and began ushering him out from behind the booth. I gasped so loud I think the people outside heard me. I heard Brian behind me saying, "What? No…" under his breath.
We had missed our chance.
Then the they turned around and said, "Just kidding!" It turned out Brian's brother had told T-Bone to pull this stunt. In retrospect, it was pretty funny, but at the time, I was ready to tackle Brian's brother.
When the laughter had settled and my breathing returned to normal, we finally got our picture taken with Michael, T-Bone, and Nick. I asked Michael if he would try to sign the bottom limb on my bow. There wasn't much room for Michael's fairly wide signature, but he assured me he would make it work. He said, "Sure. I can skinny it up right there for ya."
There was room left for another signature so I asked Nick Mundt to sign below Michael's name.
I gave them each a hug and thanked them as they all apologized for playing the joke on us earlier. Brian shook their hands and wished Michael good luck in the hunting season. Michael's smile disappeared as he looked directly at Brian and said, "Hey man…thank you." It gave me chills to see how genuinely grateful he seemed to be to hear a fan wish him good luck. It was a moment I'll never forget.
Every time I go out hunting and see the signatures of Michael Waddell and Nick Mundt on my Hoyt bow, a rush of confidence surges through me. I haven't had the opportunity to shoot a deer yet, but when I do, I'll take pride in the fact that Michael and Nick were with me on my hunt.
2 comment(s) so far...
By Schmitty34 on
10/18/2011 6:37 AM
Re: Meeting the Bone Collector Crew
Very cool Lacey, am looking forward to reading more!!
By Buck Nut on
10/20/2011 10:25 AM
Re: Meeting the Bone Collector Crew