I wrote this here the BIG DEER blog one September day 9 years ago. Posting with updates:

Let me introduce you to my new hunting buddy, 15-year-old Jordan Beri. Last Friday evening Jordan, who was born with spina bifida and is paralyzed from the chest down, shot this 200-pound, low-fence giant in South Carolina.

Shaking and nervous as I have ever been in a hunting situation, I held the rifle and scope steady as I could on the buck’s shoulder. We had a special contraption attached to the rifle so that all Jordan had to do was suck on a tube to activate and pull the trigger. When I whispered “Now,” Jordan sucked a deep breath and dropped the fully mature deer with one shot. The buck crumpled and fell in a heap.

I have never been so relieved and so proud. It was without question one of the most emotional and rewarding experiences in my 40-year hunting and filming career. We captured it all on video for BIG DEER TV Season 4. That episode with Jordan that aired 8 years ago is one of the best and most special shows we’ve ever produced.

Weighing in at 212 pounds with a heavy mainframe 10-point rack, Jordan’s buck was the biggest to ever come off that property.

Before our hunt that sunny, warm and perfect afternoon, we all held hands and Jordan led us in a prayer. He’s been a preacher since age 4 and has traveled around the South preaching at revivals. His dad, Patrick, told me that often at these events other preachers would come up to Jordan and say, “Boy, let’s pray that one day you’ll walk again.”

To which Jordan always replied, “You don’t have to pray for me, sir, I know God will take care of me. Let’s pray for others who need it.”

This was one special kid who recently passed away at age 24. RIP Jordan and God bless. Thank you and your family for letting me share a little time with you, and for giving me perspective on things that really matter in life. I’ll never forget you, our brief time together and that big old buck.