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"Dad's" Elk

Old 10-13-2014, 06:11 PM
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Nontypical Buck
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I am an Alabama flat lander that has always wanted to hunt elk. But due to several reasons, I procrastinated until the day in 2010 when one of my best hunting buddies suddenly died of a rare form of lukemia. So .... I started putting a few dollars here and there aside and I booked a hunt in 2012. And after a two year wait, on September 27, I jumped in my truck for a 3 day drive to Raton, New Mexico .... to hunt elk.

The day before I left, I spent the afternoon with my 90 year old father, who was living at a VA facility near where I live. He had entered the facility some 14 months earlier suffering from advancing dementia, COPD and other ailments typical of the elderly. The last thing he told me was to have a great time and get a "big one". I kissed him, told him I loved him and went home to pack.

The day that I arrived at camp, my brother called to tell me that dad had passed away peacefully early that morning. We debated some and my brother convinced me to stay and hunt. So I did so carrying a mixed bag of emotions and some guilt.

The first day I saw my first bulls. Too late getting there. Still too far away for my shooting skills.

The second day's hunt that day had about every every element that I guess was possible .... began with a wildly windy, foggy morning ..... then a long and lung burning walk through ridge after ridge, nearly enough to do in a 66 year old out of shape busted up ex-jock .... bulls bugeling .... my guide calling a nice 5x5 and me passing .... missing a massive 7x7 in the middle of the morning that I tried at 275 yards with no decent rest ... a clean miss thankfully .... and late that day my guide calling down of the hillside, out of the cedars two great looking 6x6's, including an old, palmatted bull that was felled by my shot. The kill was quick. As I stood over that magnificent animal, I wept like a child. The bull was green scored 324 3/4". Big enough for me ... and I indeed had a great time.

Thanks for the trip "pop" .... all 66 years worth.

Last edited by Mojotex; 10-14-2014 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 10-13-2014, 08:33 PM
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Grief is never easy, but if we allow ourselves to celebrate the lost life, rather than our loss, peace tends to come quicker. Congrats on your hunt, a good brother, and that you and your dad got to have a special goodbye.
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Old 10-14-2014, 08:22 AM
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A very nice story. May your father rest in peace.
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Old 10-14-2014, 07:09 PM
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Sorry for your loss, I loss my Dad 1 1/2 years ago in a logging accident, not easy. I hated the saying time heals but it does, little by little you think of the good times and even laugh while thinking about them. Anyway awesome Elk and hunting story, good thing your bro talked you into staying with the hunt, I'm sure your Dad would've loved your trophy!
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Old 10-15-2014, 03:00 AM
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Congratulation on your hunt!! Sorry to hear about your dad.
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Old 10-19-2014, 11:26 AM
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Dads are the best hunting partner you will ever have.
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Old 10-20-2014, 03:30 AM
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Congrats on your hunt! I am glad that part of it went well for you.. I am also sorry to hear about your dad.. It sounds like he had lived a great life and I am sure he wants you to as well. I know it must have been hard out on your hunting trip knowing that your dad has passed onto greener pastures.. Just try and remember all the good times you both shared together.. My condolences are being sent to you and the family..
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Old 10-22-2014, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Uncle View Post
A very nice story. May your father rest in peace.
Ditto Sorry for your loss and congrats on your elk! Post a pic if you can!
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Old 10-28-2014, 02:57 PM
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Default dads buck

Sorry for your loss, I lost my father 3 yrs ago tomorrow, he was 81 and taught me the love of the outdoors. I have a son and I took him to Colorado this past September for an elk hunt and we had a great time and made some nice friends but did not get any shot opportunity at elk. I thought of my dad on that hunt a lot and during the hunting season in general. I have my own regrets about not doing certain trips with my dad and do not want those same regrets with my son. I also cherish the trips I had with my dad . I shot the biggest whitetail of my life a few weeks after he passed . A monster 211 inch 16 pointer that was chased for years on my farm by many. I call him Bullwinkle and he also is my dads buck.
I know how you feel
Keith
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