Many of you probably recognize November the 11th as Veteran’s Day. If you don’t, well, you really need to get your priorities straight. Why do we dedicate one day of the year to our veterans? Why is it on the eleventh day of November? On November 11, 1918 during World War 1, the Allied forces met with Germany and agreed on a temporary cessation of hostilities, which eventually led to a full treaty being signed and the war coming to an end. We celebrate those that have lost their lives in service, those currently serving and those who have served that have thankfully made it home safely. This article highlights a Veteran’s Day in 2015 that will not soon be forgotten, it’s by far the most memorable Veteran’s Day I have ever been a part of.
My name is Aaron Van Woerkom and I have the great privilege to help the Dianda and Capurro family with the Prime Revolution television show. I am a content manager, which basically means I manage the Prime Revolution social media accounts. I must say that I absolutely love working for these two amazing families! I was asked in the summer of 2015 if I would like to tag along and help film Prime Revolution on their third season Colorado deer hunt in November. Lets see here, I was asked to film giant bucks during the middle of the rut? It was a no brainer; I was in! I was also informed that co-founder and CEO of Kryptek Outdoor Group Butch Whiting would be on the hunt.
For those that don’t know Butch, here is a little bit about him. “Butch Whiting is co-founder and CEO of Kryptek Outdoor Group. Butch has an impressive military history that includes numerous awards and deployments. Butch piloted the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter and served combat duty in both Iraq and Afghanistan. During his military career, Maj. Butch Whiting has received; two Bronze Stars, two service medals, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, and many others. Butch is also a passionate hunter and has pursued this passion on multiple continents (Kryptek Outdoor Group).” So you can see I was in pretty good company, right?
We arrived Tuesday to our cabin in Colorado and Mike Dianda, Clint Capurro, Justin Sparks (VP of Operations at Kryptek) and Butch shot their guns right before dark to make sure they were all on. As it got dark the anticipation was building. I was so excited to see what tomorrow would bring in this prime Mule Deer hunting unit. I had heard so many stories of the giant bucks that had been taken, I just wanted to see them for my own eyes! That, coupled with the anxiety that I couldn’t make any mistakes while filming, especially on the kill shot, had me wired! I wanted to make sure that I helped produce a quality episode that Prime Revolution could air on the Sportsman’s Channel.
I didn’t get much sleep that night, and when I woke up what would you know, snow! Everyone had hoped for snow, it’s has been known that when it snows it pushes the big bruisers out of the high country into the area where we were hunting. The snow couldn’t have come at a better time! As we headed off (Justin and Mike went in a truck with one film guy, and I went with Clint and Butch in another truck), I rolled the camera, and kept that thing going the whole time. I didn’t want to miss one shot or one conversation that could help the show. As we drove we started seeing bucks, and really nice bucks at that! Good four point, small bucks, lots of does and then a giant 3×4 buck with huge eye guards! Clint and Butch put their binoculars on the buck and both agreed that he was a great buck but it was too early in the hunt to pull the trigger (Clint would end up killing this buck on BLM Land, it was a big, old buck!). We drove and hiked around for another couple of hours without seeing “the one”. We then glassed some deer way up in the high country on some private land, one of those deer had a big body and we decided to throw the spotter on him. It didn’t take long for everyone to start yelling, “Big Buck”! We could see that this buck had a gigantic frame an heavy antlers, it’s too bad he wasn’t on the land we could hunt.
The excitement ended and we decided to go back to the cabins and eat lunch. After sharing some stories and filling our stomachs, we set out to hunt again in the afternoon. We took a different route than before and started seeing a lot of the same type of deer, small four point, little bucks and of course more does. It started to get late and so we decided to go to a high glassing point so we could spend the rest of our night scanning as much ground as we could. With about 30 minutes of light left we parked, then pulled out our binos. Not 20 seconds after glassing Clint and Butch started saying, “shooter!” I took out my personal binos to locate the buck and when I located him I about dropped. He was a giant! We all assumed it was the giant framed buck that we had seen earlier. I remember Clint turning to Butch and saying something like, “Happy Veteran’s Day friend, go get him.” The buck was a long ways away and we had approximately 20 minutes left of shooting light, it was go time!
Butch and I tore off the mountain along with the guide slipping and sliding down the icy, slippery rocks. I vividly remember not being able to feel my hands and feet; it was absolutely freezing that night! We cut the distance quick; before I knew it I had the camera on the giant buck and I hit play. The guide gave Butch the range; it was 350 or so yards away if I remember right. Butch then asked me if I had the camera on him, I told him that I was on him and he could shoot whenever he was ready. Not a second later, BOOM! The buck hunched, then another BOOM! The buck hit the ground hard and it was over, right at before legal shooting light ended. Lots of cheers, hugs and fist pumps preceded. The rest of the night was filled with friends congratulating Butch and telling him Happy Veteran’s Day.
We want to thank all of the Veteran’s out there for helping us all keep our beloved country that we love so much. Without you, there would be no Freedom. We especially want to wish one of our favorite Veteran’s Butch Whiting a Happy Veteran’s Day. Thank you for all you’ve done for our country, and thank you for being our friend. In our eyes, no one deserved a big, giant buck on Veteran’s Day more than you.