Natural-Born Noodler

If there was ever a natural-born noodler, it has to be 15-year-old River Williams. He is obsessed with noodling. You can say the same thing for the entire Williams family. They run Adrenaline Rush Noodling in Shawnee, Oklahoma. ARN is a catfish noodling guide service that has been on the Today Show, Mudcats TV and the Sportsman Channel. Even Jeremy Wade of the TV show River Monsters has paid them a visit. It seems the Williams family are considered the world over as the catfish noodling experts.

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A Stick and String Trophy, and Countless Life Lessons

Seventeen-year-old Cade Thomas began pursuing white-tailed deer with archery equipment back in 2017 at age 11.  He started with a crossbow and then progressed to using a compound bow.

This past season, he harvested his personal best whitetail buck on the Horn Ranch & Rancho La Tinaja in Kinney County, Texas where his father, Bobby, leases a spot. The deer was one of the few survivors left after anthrax plagued the property’s deer herd back in 2019, and it scored approximately 171.25 inches.

According to Ranch Manager and landowner, David Price, the ranch lost an estimated 700 deer due to an anthrax outbreak in 2019, and Thomas’s buck was one that survived that event.

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Through a Father’s Eyes: A Son’s First Deer Season

A person will never forget their first deer or their first buck.  Those are moments that are monumental, both as a hunter and as a Texan.  And this season I was fortunate enough to share those special moments with my oldest son, Waylon, during his first deer season as hunter instead of an observer.

Back in November 2023, he was able to harvest his first deer ever, a doe, on our family farm at age five. He made seven sits in a blind during the week of Thanksgiving before getting a shot opportunity at a doe. During one particular evening hunt, he made an excellent shot at a raccoon, right at dark at about 80 yards. There I was disappointed that he hadn’t gotten a shot at a doe, yet the youngster couldn’t have been more elated and pumped up about his raccoon. So you can imagine how excited he was, and how excited I was, when he made a great shot on his doe later that week.

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