It is not often that a photo brings tears to my eyes. I consider myself a tough guy and rarely let my emotions show, but when this photo came across my screen I definitely got choked up.
It is amazing how a simple picture can prove to be so powerful. My heart goes out to this young man. I know your Paw would be proud and is bragging to the other hunters in heaven.
Even though I have never met this young hunter and do not even know his name. I felt his pain because I have been in his shoes. My grandpa and hunting mentor passed away 17 years ago and not a day goes by that I do not think of him.
I have years of wonderful memories hunting with him and these pictures caused them all to come flooding back. He was with me when I killed my first deer, squirrel, rabbit, and groundhog. We spent countless weekends together walking the woods and I hung on to his every word, learning about hunting as well as life.
To say these pictures affected me deeply is an understatement, and I know I am not alone. Just skimming through the hundreds of comments will let you know that the picture cut deeply to the heart of thousands of hunters who have laid to rest grandfathers and fathers who they used to hunt with.
The memories made hunting last beyond a lifetime and will always live within us. Because those memories never die neither does the person who you made them with. They live on through you.
I rarely go to my Grandpa’s grave. In fact, I have not been in years. It is not because he has been forgotten. He goes with me on every hunting trip; he has been there during every successful hunt; and will continue to be there when I pass along hunting to my son. For me, my Grandpa lives in the woods and that is where I visit him.
This past month I published my first book. I dedicated it to my Grandpa and includes a number of stories of us hunting together. It is called “Why We Hunt: The Five Motivations of a Modern Hunter.” He was a large part of the inspiration for writing it. I would be honored for you to share in our memories and hope they encourage you to make your own with the ones you love.