I firmly believe loved ones remain with us long after they are gone.
This became apparent to me after our annual first deer season hunting excursion to western Illinois last week. When heading out to the tree stand on a cold and windy November afternoon, I never saw this one coming. In fact, everyone hunting on the property didn’t see it coming either.
When sitting in the stand enjoying the peace of the timber, I looked up to the sky and said, “Please Grandpa – bring me a buck.” About 15 minutes passed before I heard a nearby shot fired followed by another shot a few minutes later. Turns out, those shots were fired by my brother and uncle who each got a deer. Curt got a buck while Chris tagged a doe.
An eight-point buck came into my line of sight a short time later and slowly strolled about 20 yards to the right of my tree stand. That is when I took the shot and got the deer. I had to look up and say, “Thanks Grandpa.” I knew at that moment Grandpa was looking out for his family and was right there with us. He allowed his two grandsons and son to get some nice deer.
Everyone knows how much Grandpa enjoyed hunting and being out in the timber, whether he was looking for deer or turkeys. His timber is a special place and will always remind us of him. In fact, I was wearing a pair of his old hunting coveralls that day and I plan to wear them from now on as a token of good luck.
Grandpa would always tease me when I missed a deer or chose not to take a shot for some reason, but now I am sure he is tickled that so many deer were taken in such a short time. Whoever got a buck had to buy steaks, according to Grandpa. He thought Curt and I only came hunting to enjoy the food. That was part of it, but the real reason was to be with family.
There is nothing more rewarding than spending time with relatives and making new memories each year. I will never forget that day and Grandpa’s memory will be with me forever.