Every now and then a story comes along that changes something deep inside of you and just hearing it can make you look at life from another point of view. Adversity is a peculiar thing that affects people in very different ways. Sometimes life can take a turn for the worse and completely diminish our hopes, dreams, and personal ambitions in a flash. When you’ve been knocked down and are going through hard times you are often faced with tough decisions. Some people give up hope and simply try to cope with a personal hardship in their own way. While others decide to grit their teeth, hold on tight, and face difficulty head on without ever throwing in the towel. This die-hard American spirit has always been the driving force of our country and it’s what has made us strong from the very beginning.
Recently, I talked with a hunter who embodies this same spirit and refused to stop doing what he loved after life threw him a curve. Tim Farmer was a former Marine who experienced a traumatic motorcycle accident that cost him his right arm. Farmer found himself in a seemingly helpless situation that he had never imagined. Sadly, his career in the Marine Corps was over along with his ability to play music. Farmer had grown up hunting and fishing in his rural Kentucky home and a scary thought began to creep into his mind. What if I am not able to hunt and fish again? Farmer had just fallen in love with bowhunting and it appeared he would never be able to draw back on a trophy class buck.
With some encouragement from his hunting buddies, Farmer decided that under no circumstances should he hang his bow up for good. His friends told him about a one-armed hunter they had heard about who continued to hunt by drawing the bow with his teeth. Over the course of the next few days, Farmer constructed a leather strap that allowed him to bite down and pull his bow back to full draw. After hours of practicing and a bloody mouth he was able to shoot a solid group. That season he made the most out of every opportunity and stayed in his treestand. Unfortunately, he was unable to get a buck within his comfort range of 20 yards. It always seemed the deer managed to pass by just out of reach and Farmer began to wonder if he would ever get a shot.
Finally, one cold October morning, Farmer picked up movement to the left of his stand. A nervous doe stepped out of the shadows with an anxious buck right on her tail. As fate would have it, the doe walked right under Farmer’s stand and he began to pray that the buck would follow. Finally, after what seemed to be an eternity the buck stepped into a cleared shooting lane and allowed him to draw his bow back. Farmer’s adrenalin was pumping so hard that the arrow popped off his rest and he quickly had to reset it with his finger. Upon regrouping and settling his nerves, he let an arrow fly that would completely change his outlook on life. The buck only ran a few yards from his stand before crashing into a thicket and proving the fact that his disability would not be able to keep him out of the woods.
Without question, refusing to give up on a love for the outdoors and a passion for hunting enabled Farmer to overcome some amazing odds. Since then Farmer has taken over 70 whitetails with his bow and he currently is the host of Kentucky Afield. Farmer also spends a lot of his personal time talking with disabled and handicap people about overcoming obstacles and not allowing anything to stop them from doing what they love. Tim Farmer represents what hunting is all about and he is truly an unstoppable hunter who does not know how to quit. Keep hunting hard Tim and good luck this fall.—Travis Faulkner