Jon Lester, Boston’s Ace, Shows His Hunting Side


At age 26, talented Red Sox Southpaw Jon Lester has won a World Series Game, pitched a no-hitter, and beaten the toughest opponent of all — cancer. Hurling in Boston on a thirty million dollar contract, you might think he’s all about the big city, yet he’s a country boy at heart. As an avid Boston Red Sox fan, Ken Byers was delighted to meet Lester and show him the ropes of hunting whitetail deer in South Dakota. As a Pro-Staff member for Mossy Oak Camouflage, Lester was comfortable in the outdoors, but was he a hunter? Could he handle hunting in the open plains, where shots are long and deer are often on the run?

Jon Lester (2)I joined Lester on an annual hunting trip in central South Dakota and helped welcome him to our cozy but comfortable four-bed hunting cabin. During the first night in camp, there was a laid back vibe. We learned that Lester was more than just an extremely proficient athlete;  he loved the outdoors as well. Born in Washington state, Lester played a variety of sports growing up — in addition to baseball, Lester enjoyed soccer, basketball, football, basketball. “I was always outside doing something,” Lester said casually. “I love being outside and not being indoors. I never liked video games or things like that, so sports kept me out of trouble and my parents probably sane from me.”

Lester joined the Boston Red Sox organization right out of high school. He was drafted, worked out a signing bonus and went to the Gulf Coast League for about two weeks, followed by a three week stint in the Instructional League…

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00020]For this full story and a look at a dozen other personalities out in the natural world, check out Celebrities in the Outdoors.

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Joe Byers
Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.