By Laura Tingo
Brotherhood Outdoors’ very first Canadian guest, Jim Pruner, resides in Airdrie, Alberta, and works at a diamond mine way up in Canada’s Northwest Territories. He has not enjoyed hunting nearly as long as he’s enjoyed fishing, but, to him, there is no comparison when it comes to what he enjoys most.
“I have been salmon fishing off Vancouver Island and deep sea fishing off the coast of Nova Scotia and tried in many lakes and streams everywhere in between,” said Pruner, a member of IAMAW District 14, LL 99. “But it just doesn’t call to me like a clear, cool morning out in the woods or prairie with a good rifle in my hands, looking for a beautiful deer or elk.”
He learned to hunt from friends and what he calls, “trial and error.” Now, he teaches others and brings along a new hunter each year to try to help them harvest their first deer.
“There’s little that comes close to seeing the huge grin on their face after they realize the reward of a challenging hunt,” he said, “…and that they can feel good about their contribution to conservation and to providing food for themselves and their family.”
It was his interest in hunting and conservation that led Pruner to join the USA and apply to be a guest on Brotherhood Outdoors.
“I really think it’s great to grow a love of the outdoors and solidarity amongst the membership,” he said. “It is a common thread no matter which industry, background, union or even country we come from.”
Pruner’s busy lifestyle keeps him close to home, where he volunteers at church as a financial clerk and with its youth group. He also supports Cub Scouts and his local fish and game club. In his Brotherhood Outdoors application, he described his dream of hunting somewhere different that offers a chance at a big buck.
When the USA learned about Pruner sharing his love of hunting with up and coming hunters and giving back in his community, they decided to make that dream come true with a Kansas whitetail hunt with Brotherhood Outdoors’ co-hosts Daniel Lee Martin and Julie McQueen.
Miles away from Canada, Pruner faced an unexpected challenge in Kansas. An admitted high-energy personality, one of the toughest things he faced was sitting in the deer blind, waiting and watching for the right deer.
“I was so excited to try hunting in a different country…This would be the first time I hunted from a blind for any extended period of time since the area I usually hunt in consists of wide open prairie with little tree cover,” said Pruner.
Just after the sun came up on the first morning of the hunt, a young 10-pointer with two broken tines walked out in view of the blind.
“He was a young deer, not really a shooter, but still bigger than any whitetail I had ever taken,” said Pruner.
“He hunted hard, all day every day,” said McQueen. “I know it was hard for him to sit that long in the blind every day, but he really wanted his deer.”
That first long day in the blind turned into 54 hours of Pruner waiting patiently for a big buck to appear, as the small 10-pointer came out daily to tempt him.
“I wouldn’t have lasted two days without Daniel Lee and Julie’s encouragement and company, as I am not a patient person and fought every second not to jump out of the blind and go chasing into the trees to push the deer out,” Pruner said.
Tune in and watch as the excitement builds on day three when Pruner spots a big buck on the other side of a tree line. When a doe bursts from the trees at a run, will the buck follow behind her to give Pruner a shot at his trophy?
Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors on Sundays at 11 a.m. ET on the Sportsman Channel.