John's Journal...

A Week Outdoors Hunting and Fishing with Boo Weekley

Boo Weekley and the Day an Alligator Almost Ate Him

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Thomas Brent “Boo” Weekley of Jay, Florida, one of the nation’s top professional golfers, is also an avid hunter and fisherman and often takes his rods and reels with him as he tours the world on the Professional Golf Association (PGA) Tour circuit. In 2007, Weekley earned $3 million in tournament winnings. So far, this year, Weekley has won over $2 million. This week, we caught up with Weekley at the Brewton Country Club in south Alabama. “We’ll reach the golf course before it opens and fish in the ponds,” Weekley reveals. “Then about 10:00 am, I’ll start practicing for my upcoming tournaments.” Today, Weekley is ranked number 8 in the PGA points standing.

Question: Boo, on TV, professional golfing seems to be a lot of glitz and glamour. What’s it really like?
Weekley: My oldest boy is 6-years old. I was home for exactly a week and a half when he was born; then I had to go back to work on the tour. Then I didn’t see him for 3 weeks and then came home for a week before I had to leave again. So, I really haven’t had a chance to watch my little boy grow up. That really disappointed me at the time. However, now that I’m on the PGA circuit, I can fly home after every tournament, insteadof having to drive home like I did on the Nationwide Tour. So, I’m planning to spend more time with my boys, which is really important to me. I’m hoping to play about 30 events this year, and right now, I’ve played around 20. Click to enlarge

Question: When’s your season, Boo?
Weekley: Our season starts in January. You really don’t have time off, if you don’t want time off. You can go overseas and play, take time off after the PGA Tour championship or keep playing. You can play tournaments year-round. Your schedule is up to you.

Question: Boo, how old are you now?
Weekley: I’m 36.

Question: You like to hunt as much as you like to fish, don’t you?
Weekley: Yes, I do. I really enjoy bowhunting for deer. This past bow season, I was at home sitting in a tree stand on opening-day morning. There are too many does on the property we hunt, so we wanted to remove some of our antlerless deer. During bow season, you can get as many doe tags as you want. My brother-in-law and I had a pocketful of tags and we wanted to take a bunch of does off our property during the early part of the season. We had two or three stands between a few-different food plots. We can put out corn for deer in Florida, so we start feeding corn to the deer immediately after we finish planting our food plots. Since the deer will eat the corn instead of the food plots, we created feeding stations between green fields. Click to enlarge

At daylight, I saw a big doe and decided to harvest her. I placed the arrow exactly where it should be and heard the doe run off down into the swamp and fall into the water. I said to myself, “Well, she’s down.” So, I sat in the stand for about another 30 minutes before I began searching for the doe. As soon as I started to get out of my stand, I saw a 7- and a 6-point buck coming toward me. We have a rule on my land that a buck has to be 6 points or better for a hunter to take him. These two bucks weren’t more than 12- or 14-inches wide between their antlers. So, I stayed in my stand and watched my two bucks as a large group of does came toward me. I picked a large doe and waited for her to separate from the herd before I released the arrow and took her. She ran up a hill the opposite way from the first doe. I said to myself, “Boo, you’ve done pretty good. You can back-up your truck right down here to the stand, load both these deer up and take them back to camp.”

The weather was hot, and I was hunting in shorts, a T-shirt and my knee-high rubber boots. I climbed down from my tree stand to follow the blood trail. When I was on the blood trail, I spotted and killed three water moccasins. When I reached the edge of the swamp, I saw my doe lying in the water about 15- or 20-yards away from the bank. The water wasn’t too deep, so I waded out to retrieve her. Just before I reached the doe, I stopped and heard something behind me. I looked over my shoulder and there was a big alligator right behind me. That alligator must have been lyiClick to enlargeng on the bank, and when he saw me going for that doe, he slid into the water right behind me. I hadn’t gone 10 yards out in the water when I saw him. When I saw that alligator, I started high-stepping. I ran as fast as I could and ducked behind a tree lying in the water. I jumped back on the bank and watched that alligator go straight to that doe, chomp down on her and take off swimming with her in his mouth. I said, “Mr. Alligator, you can have that doe. I have another one up on the hill.”

After I retrieved the second doe I’d shot and loaded her onto the truck, I went to another tree stand and checked my trail cameras. On the trail camera, I saw a nice buck with about 16 inches between his beams. It was still early in the morning – not even 7:00 am. I saw that big buck coming, but he was staying in the brush and wasn’t giving me a good shot. That smart buck never stepped out to give me a shot, but another doe came by, and I took her. I really love bowhunting for deer. That’s the best and the fairest kind of hunting. And just like golf, bowhunting for deer will challenge your patience. Golf is about being patient, controlling your emotions and managing your talent. I’ve learned that patience is one of the key essentials to having a happy life.

Question: Boo, does your dad play golf?
Weekley: Yes, he does, but he’s not good at it.

Question: What about your mom, Boo? Does she play golf?
Weekley: My mom’s a good athlete. She was a five-time All State fast-pitch softball player. She’s the one with all the athletic talent. I’m not sure my dad can walk and chew bubblegum at the same time, but he loves to hunt.

Tomorrow: Boo Weekley Has the Heart of a Champion

Check back each day this week for more about "A Week Outdoors Hunting and Fishing with Boo Weekley"

Day 1: Boo Weekley – All-Around Athlete
Day 2: Boo Weekley and the Beginning of Bass Fishing
Day 3: Boo Weekley and His Supporters
Day 4: Boo Weekley and the Day an Alligator Almost Ate Him
Day 5: Boo Weekley Has the Heart of a Champion


Entry 465, Day 4