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The Red Sox’s Jon Lester Recounts His Most Memorable Hunting Moment

Jon Lester scores an eight-pointer in Missouri.

Jon Lester scores an eight-pointer in Missouri.

Author’s note: Twenty-nine-year-old Jon Lester from Washington State was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 2002 at only age 18, spent four years in the minor leagues and then went to the big leagues in 2006. Lester is currently one of the best left-handed pitchers in the sport of baseball, is starting for the Boston Red Sox and has the best record in baseball for 2013. Lester also is a hunter, a cancer survivor, and a family man.

A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Missouri and hunt with Mark and Terry Drury during the rut on the backside of a large-cut soybean field, facing a cedar thicket. Mark and Terry expected bucks to be running in the cedar thicket early in the morning. Our blind was set up with our backs to the soybean field. Just after first light, about 70 yards to our right, a small spike buck came out of the cedars. He started moving along the fence row behind us. Next, I saw a four-pointer, a six-pointer, and then a 3-1/2-year-old eight-pointer all walking the same scrape line on the fence row.

Just following the bucks, I spotted a monster sized eight-pointer coming down the fence row and working scrapes. Behind us, on the same trail we had used to get to our blind, was an opening about 15 yards away. When I spotted the buck walking toward the opening, I drew my PSE Dream Season bow. The cameraman hunting with me grunted, stopping the buck in the opening. At that point, I already had my pin sight on the buck’s shoulder, so I released the arrow. When the buck took the arrow, he began running across the bean field. Just as he reached the top of the hill, he fell over. Since we had watched him go down, we didn’t have to blood trail him at all. The eight-point buck scored 168 on Pope and Young.

This hunt finally sealed the deal that had began several years earlier of the Drurys and I hunting together. A friend of mine, Jim Thome, had played baseball for the Indians, the Phillies, Baltimore, and Chicago, and I expect him to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, since he’s hit 500 home runs in his career. Jim knew I liked to hunt, so he had his agent ask Mark Drury to call me. Mark and I went back and forth for more than a year before he invited me to come hunt with him and Terry.

A pitcher doesn’t always throw strikes and win ball games. Just like a pitcher, a hunter is often unsuccessful, regardless of who he is and where he hunts. On my first hunt with Mark and Terry, I failed to take a deer. Then in November of 2011, Mark invited me back to hunt with him in Missouri. This is when I took the big eight-point, while wearing Mossy Oak Obsession. I really liked that pattern.

I first started shooting a bow in 2004, but I began bowhunting when I moved to Atlanta. I bought a 500-acre woodlot there in 2009, and found I enjoyed bowhunting more than gun hunting. So, in 2009, I bought my first PSE bow. Because I prefer hunting from a tree stand, I my favorite camo pattern is Mossy Oak Treestand.

For more information on Jon Lester, click here.

Image courtesy John E. Philips

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