He'd just entered his teenage years, this 13 year old kid from south Louisiana. His dad introduced him to hunting as a youngster where mallards and pintails were his prime targets.
He'd read magazines and heard other hunters talk about how exciting deer hunting was and he began working on his dad to take him deer hunting. The only problem, dad didn't know of an area in the vicinity where they lived but he had a son-in-law in Shreveport who had an uncle who had a hunting club in Lincoln Parish.
Son-in-law, Alan Seabaugh contacted his uncle, (that would be yours truly), arrangements were made and the hunt was on. Now, 18 years later that young hunter is married with two young sons and he has just made the news big-time around north Louisiana.
His name? Tommy McClelland who last week was named Athletics Director at Louisiana Tech.
We visited with McClelland a few days ago and asked him to recall that November day in 1995 when he climbed into a stand for his first deer hunt.
"My brother-in-law, Alan, took me to a box stand that he felt offered me the best chance at bagging a buck. This particular stand located on an abandoned power line right-of-way, faced a food plot and Alan told me to scoot my chair to the very back of the stand so I had a good view of the area to my front where he expected a deer to come out," McClelland recalled.
"Alan told me there was virtually no chance that a deer would approach from behind the stand because the food plot was to the front. However, the owner of the stand (note...that would be yours truly), had mounted a rear view mirror just in case.
"I'm listening to the advice of the two of the wisest people I've met concerning deer hunting so I'm feeling confident they know what they're talking about. Then I guess Murphy's Law kicked in because you can guess what happened; a nice 6 point buck appeared in the rear view mirror and I'm backed up against the back of the stand facing the wrong way."
McClelland recalled that in his effort to get turned around and get his rifle out the window for a possible shot, the buck's patience wore thin and he walked off into the woods without offering the young hunter a chance at bagging a nice buck on his first deer hunt.
"I'm sitting there thinking bad thoughts about my uncle who offered the wrong advice when I heard a shot and soon after, my dad called on the radio to tell me he'd just shot a nice buck. A six point buck. My six point buck," McClelland continued.
Tommy McClelland and his family will be moving to the Ruston area soon and his focus will be on coordinating and managing the Louisiana Tech athletics program. It takes little imagination to realize he will have precious little free time for sitting on deer stands. However, he is hopeful he can find a few hours here and there for hunting and I offered him a spot in one of my stands this fall.
"I may take you up on that because you and Alan Seabaugh owe me a 6 point buck. However, whatever advice you two give me on how to set up on a buck, I'm going to do the opposite because it's obvious your plans don't work," he countered with a chuckle.
(Note to self: if Tommy McClelland is able to make a hunt with me this coming season, do NOT put him in my stand with the rear view mirror.)
Glynn Harris Outdoors is proudly sponsored by DSK, Ltd. of Minden.