Chad Keller, a West Virginia coal miner with UMWA Local 9909 has hunted deer for going on 30 years now, but when Brotherhood Outdoors took him on a trip to hunt whitetail in Illinois, he said it was absolutely the best hunt he has ever experienced.
“I had the biggest buck I have ever seen in the wild standing in front of me!” said Chad, a USA member from Philippi.
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.”
Helping to warm the crew was a welcoming host family, who invited Chad, Julie, and show co-host Daniel Lee Martin to share a bountiful Thanksgiving luncheon in their home. Though it was Chad’s first Thanksgiving spent away from his family, he kept his sights aimed on bringing home a big Thanksgiving buck, hoping to make it his 4th year in a row.
Chad, who calls hunting and fishing his true passion, fishes trout in the spring and fall. In the summer, he fishes catfish, bass, walleye and crappie.
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 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.
“I believe that the next generation of video gamers needs time away from their devices and electronics to put the time into the outdoors to preserve the lessons that were passed down to us from our fathers and grandfathers,” he said. “It’s our duty and obligation for the sport and the outdoors.”
His personal commitment to conservation also extends into his community with his generous support of several charities through fundraising activities with his fellow union brothers and employees.
Tune in to this upcoming episode of Brotherhood Outdoors and accompany Chad and the crew as they brave the challenges of fierce cold and slow-moving clocks, patiently waiting for a shooter buck to come within bow range. Experience the thrill, Thanksgiving night, when Chad finds himself breathless, face-to-face with a large buck just 50 yards out. When this skilled hunter draws his bow, will his arrow hit the mark to bring it down?
Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors March 9th at 11 a.m. ET, on the Sportsman Channel.