The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s (USA) national outdoor TV series, Brotherhood Outdoors, takes Chad Keller, a union coal miner from Philippi, West Virginia, to Illinois, for a Thanksgiving Day white-tailed deer hunting adventure. The show airs Sunday, March 9, at 11 a.m. ET, on the Sportsman Channel.
Chad has hunted deer for going on 30 years now, but when Brotherhood Outdoors took him on the all-expense-paid trip, he could hardly believe it. “It was absolutely the best hunt I have ever experienced,” said Chad, a member of UMWA Local 9909, in Shinnston, West Virginia.
Chad’s personal commitment to conservation and his generous support of several charities and fundraising activities in his community is what caught the attention of the Brotherhood Outdoors’ producers. It was Chad’s father, also a union coal miner, who passed down a love of the outdoors to him. Chad recently lost his dad, who he calls his lifelong hunting and fishing buddy, to black lung disease. He worked in the mines for more than 40 years.
“Every time I go fishing or hunting, it brings back a flood of memories about all of the fun times I had with my dad,” Chad said.
Chad shares his dad’s commitment to carrying on the tradition, taking his two kids, other children in the family and their friends, fishing and hunting every chance he gets. “It’s our duty and obligation for the sport and the outdoors…to preserve the lessons that were passed down to us from our fathers and grandfathers,” he said.
The episode invites viewers to join Chad, Brotherhood Outdoors co-hosts Julie McQueen and Daniel Lee Martin and a welcoming host family that offers a warm setting for Chad’s first Thanksgiving Day spent away from his family with an invitation to share a bountiful, holiday luncheon in their home. Each year for three years running, Chad had brought home a Thanksgiving buck, and this day, his sights are set on keeping his record.
The excitement of the hunt really kicks in that night, when Chad finds himself breathless, face-to-face with a large buck just 50 yards out. Taking a monster buck is very different from having a shooter buck in your sight, especially when your weapon of choice is a bow and arrow.
“(Bow hunting) requires a lot of time and patience,” said Julie McQueen, co-host of Brotherhood Outdoors. “This hunt was difficult because of the long hours required to sit in the woods, and the weather was brutally cold on a few mornings.”
Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors Sunday, March 9, at 11 a.m. ET, on the Sportsman Channel.
Image courtesy Union Sportsmen’s Alliance