Devia Eller Story

 

DEVIA ELLER STORY – HUNTER PROFILE

My hunting history…

SIGHTING IN HER NEW TROPHY SHOT WITH RIFLE

SIGHTING IN HER NEW TROPHY SHOT WITH RIFLE

My name is Devia Eller. I’m 36 years old and I was born and raised in North Carolina. I wasn’t really that into hunting growing up, but in my teens I used to go out with my dad into the woods when he’d go whitetail deer hunting. He showed me what to look for, like noticing such things as rubs and bedding areas, in order to find deer. And he taught me how to use his grunt call and rattling horns. The more he took me out, the more I learned. The more I wanted to experience it for myself.

 So, I asked, and dad told me the first thing I needed was to shoot. Next thing I knew, we were out shooting with his 243 at deer shaped target. I quickly learned where the vital areas on the targets were and where I needed to aim to take down the deer in one shot.

 Finally, the day came when it was time to go hunting. I don’t have to tell you how extremely excited I was. There I was in the woods, decked out in camo, being quiet and still, patiently waiting for a deer to show up. Unfortunately, nothing did. I didn’t see anything that first day, but I still had a couple days left before the season ended. I know. I know. I got started too late but better late than… you know. The last two days of hunting passed and I my tag went empty. Suffice it to say, I was disappointed, but I knew I’d be back next year. I knew then I’d have more time to prepare for the season, or least I thought I did.

 In June of the following year, I was in a car accident that left me with a C-4/5 sci (spinal cord injury). I was 19. It was the summer of 1991, and I truly believed, suddenly a quadriplegic, that hunting for me was lost forever.

 

DEVIA LOOKING AT THE SCREEN DURING PRACTICE

DEVIA LOOKING AT THE SCREEN DURING PRACTICE

 

 Right after rehab, I decided to take a couple of years off to get used to my new life. I went back to college where I earned an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration and started volunteering with a nonprofit organization near where I lived. I enjoyed volunteering and found it very rewarding, (that’s why I still do it still today), but come every fall when deer season opened, I found myself longing to go hunting again. Hearing the hunters in my family tell their stories when they came in and seeing the deer they had harvested made me quite envious. It got to be more than I could take. So I started looking. I got online and found a site called Care Cure where I came across some interesting threads, some threads about disabled hunters. From there I heard about another website called Follow Me Outdoors, this one, which had information on quads and some of the equipment that aided them in their hunting. The site’s creator, Chad, answered all my questions and gave me some people to contact in my area. I was beginning to believe that it might be possible. Through his contacts, I met George Bolender and Ed Mays, both of whom got me involved in their organizations and helped to fund my equipment, the High Quad 100 and Trophy Shot. Because of them I was able to get back into the woods, able to feel goose bumps and my heart race when I hear the sound of deer coming, able to get so excited that I can hardly breathe (you know the feeling), able to look forward to something again. Wow, I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed that last part. After receiving my equipment, the North Carolina Handicapped Sportsmen Organization put me on the list for a hunting trip to Caldwell County, NC. Now it was so close I could almost taste it. LOL! Dad put my rig together for me, mounted it on my power chair, and we pretty much practiced shooting as much as we could after that. In the fall of 2007, Dad & I arrived early on a Thursday afternoon in November for the 3 day hunt, my first in 16 years. Once we met everyone and got acquainted, my two guides Jerry & Richard took dad & me out to our blind.

 

DEVIA WITH HER GUIDES FOR THE HUNT

DEVIA WITH HER GUIDES FOR THE HUNT

 

Me and guides Jerry Warren & Richard McGee during hunter orientation on the Caldwell Co. Hunt

 It was a great first day. The temp had dropped into the lower 40s with a wind chill in the 30s. It was cold! And I wasn’t used to being out in the cold but it was great. My blind overlooked a large power line that had a long, green rye patch down the middle. From there, I could see a good 300 yards out the front.  

 VIEW FROM STAND

This is the view I had on my very first hunt in 16 years. What a beautiful sigh

There I sat, covered in camouflage, inhaling cool air. I felt totally alive. I didn’t care if I even saw a deer. It was enough just to be in the woods again. I loved the solitude; it’s a part of life that’s still the same for me. It’s a little different, but it’s as close to normalcy that I can get. Suddenly, we started seeing some squirrels scurrying in and out of the trees toward the bait pile. For some reason I was getting anxious, something else I hadn’t felt in a long time. I hoped it wouldn’t be much long now. I hoped for a deer to come out. There I sat quiet and still, watching the field to the right, left, and in front of me. A gray fox came down the line and started across in front of us.

He paused, glancing down the field at something before running off into the woods. All of a sudden I felt chill bumps and my heart began to race. Seconds later, out he came. A beautiful six-point buck strolled out, making his way to the bait. Instantly I felt my adrenaline kick in. My heart beat harder as I focused on breathing and staying calm, which wasn’t easy. I started pointing my rifle in the direction I thought he would go, hoping he would continue on his path.

And here he came; up to the bait pile and turned broadside. It couldn’t have been more perfect. I sipped on the straw which touched off my trigger. And down he went. I couldn’t have been more excited at that moment. I had just taken my first buck.

DEVIA WITH HER FIRST BUCK

If anyone wants to contact me to find out more about my rig and hunting experiences, you can email me at deviae@skybest.com.

 Hope you liked my story.

 

  

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