In The Hunt
Jan 29th, 2009 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Jan 29th, 2009 at 12:00 AM
If busy Bassmaster Elite Series pro Mike McClelland of Bella Vista, Ark., makes the time to go on a hunting trip, it’s because he can be with his family.
“Hunting is all about the camaraderie of being able to get together with your brother, or sons, or dad or whoever it might be, and spend time in the woods and enjoy their company,” said McClelland, whose father and uncle taught him how to hunt.
McClelland said he’s partial to bow hunting.
“I’ve always enjoyed a bow hunt more than a rifle hunt,” he said. “The bow hunting, for me, is the more sportsmanlike of the two choices.”
But with bow or rifle, his best hunting memories so far this season were made with his sons, Justin, 19; Jacob, 18; and Noah, 11. The two older sons shared trips with their father last month to a ranch in Oklahoma that stocks exotic species. McClelland said Justin took a fallow deer with a bow, a trophy he’s having mounted.
But each year as the Elite season gears up, McClelland has to put away the hunting gear to get back to his job. McClelland’s 2009 season will begin with the Feb. 20-22 Bassmaster Classic in Louisiana. The 39th Classic, on the Red River out of Shreveport-Bossier City will be his sixth Classic appearance. Then, starting in March, he’ll be on the road for the Bassmaster Elite Series season.
“I’ve never had the opportunity to combine hunting with (Elite Series) competition, but that’s fine,” he said. “For me, hunting is more about getting together with my boys, taking trips when I’m home and they can get time off.”