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This is what hunting is all about - here's to my Dad!

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This is what hunting is all about - here's to my Dad!

Old 09-23-2009, 03:33 PM
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Nontypical Buck
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Default This is what hunting is all about - here's to my Dad!

I was asked to post this on a other site and I thought I would share this here. My Dad was responsible for me being a deer hunter as well as my sons and two grandsons. Everyone can tell how and why they finally decided to spend so much time and effort deer hunting.
Here's my story:

ONE SPECIAL DAY


Like most deer hunters, I have experienced those things that we seem to have a special privilege in sharing. The sounds of birds awakening at first light, watching small critters as they begin another day of life on the forest floor and of course watching the sky change from black to pale blue as we await legal shooting hours, full of anticipation and excitement of Opening Day of deer season. The camaraderie we have with fellow hunters as we share stories of years past while awaiting with anticipation the upcoming season. These simple things that always seem to stay embedded in our minds. These are just a few of the examples I have cherished while doing what I love most. These feelings are also shared by my three sons. They began hunting at an early age and have grown over the years to be the kind of hunters any dad would be proud of. They are dedicated hunters who understand that hunting is more than just the kill. They were taught to not only understand the game, to experience the challenge, to enjoy those times in the deer woods, but also to respect that which we hunt. This sounds like a simple approach for me, to pass on to my sons, the same principals I was taught, but it was more than that. In my heart I felt it was a commitment, something I must do if I was to continue the heritage. You see, my Dad was responsible for it all and at the time, it wasn’t as easy as it would appear. Here’s why….


When I was much younger I especially remember my Dad getting ready for deer season. All the guys would show up at the house, all packed and ready for a week of deer hunting in Maine. It was always a happy time, full of laughter and the love they shared not only for deer hunting buy also the love they had for each other was unmistakable. My Dad told me that some day I would be able to join them in their annual Rite of Autumn. During the spring and summer we would take time and head to the woods where he would teach me all about the whitetail deer. He would explain their feeding habits, where they would bed during the day and all about the changes in the bucks as fall approached What to look for while deer hunting and why. He often said “It’s not what you do right at times, it’s what you don’t do wrong” and most importantly, “you must be a part of the woods in such a way as to not alarm or alert the animals of your presence”. Growing up I had the opportunity to learn so much about hunting and I could only wait for the day when I would actually be hunting with him. As it turned out, it would only be for one, single day.

Just about the time when I would be old enough to hunt with Dad, he became very sick. While serving in USCG during WWII, his ship was hit and he spent hours in the ice waters. Because of this, his heath deteriorated over the years, and double amputation of his legs became necessary. His priorities took a sudden and dramatic change. Even though his health and family needs took center stage, his love for hunting never waivered. We would continue to talk about those special days he spent with the guys, the excitement of the hunt and all the things that make it so special. His one true hope was to finally get back to doing that one thing that meant so much. Well that day finally came and it will be a day I will cherish forever.

Dad was allowed to hunt on an island in NH that was open for disabled hunters. It was also opened the week before the regular deer season and the F&G would supply a special tag for all successful hunters. That night we spent in a motel talking about the special morning that awaited us. I remember him telling me how good he felt inside and that just being there was what mattered most and that shooting a deer would be a bonus. We talked about all the things he taught me as a kid and his regret that things could not have been different. But he also said he was delt a hand in life and it was up to him to play it out the very best way he could. He also asked me how I felt at that very moment and I told him I was extremely happy to finally hunt with him and I was full of excitement. He told me, in so many words, to never lose that feeling because that’s what deer hunting is all about and he said “I have taken the time to introduce you to this sport and when the day comes when I have my own kids to do the same”. “Share the experience of hunting with them, Jim, give them a chance to enjoy what we have”. Well we hunted that next day, Dad took a shot at a nice buck but we went home without punching that extra tag. It did not matter, that one day with him was all I wanted and I thank God I finally got the chance.

On a hot day in July back in 1970, Dad lost his fight to cancer. My three sons now in their 30’s and my two grandsons all share in the experience that Dad passed to me many years ago. I feel good, because I have lived up to my part of the bargain and I know Dad would be proud. That day when Dad finally said goodbye, I not only lost a hunting partner, I lost my Best Friend. Thank you Dad, I Love You!
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Old 09-23-2009, 03:51 PM
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Great story man and im sure your Dad is watching over you and is proud of the tradition you have carried on.
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Old 09-23-2009, 03:52 PM
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Nice story Jimmy. I felt (feel) the same about my grandfather.
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Old 09-23-2009, 04:04 PM
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Great Story. I know your father is watching over you and your family in pride.
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Old 09-23-2009, 05:20 PM
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Great story Jimmy. I'm glad you're getting to enjoy it with your sons and grandsons as well.
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Old 09-24-2009, 06:09 AM
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Great story, I feel the same about my father every deer season. He's still around to enjoy it, but I know when he does go, he'll be with me every time I hunt.
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Old 09-24-2009, 06:15 AM
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Amen jim! I know i have lots of guys i "hunt" with but the true hunts are with my dad! (he is the man!)
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:43 AM
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My dad taught me to hunt and I am teaching my son.

My dad is 78 and my son is 7. We are working on his first deer and I hope my dad can be there for that.
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:24 AM
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Love it.. great story..
people seem to lose sight of our roots and what got many of us to where we are today.
My father is still living @ 77, but can no longer hunt due to his ailing health. He lives out his hunts through our stories of success & failure.
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:43 PM
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great story jimmy thanks for sharing i'm sure he is proud
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