November 23, 2014

Hunting a family affair

Posted 9/23/10

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For me, hunting has always been more than just the thrill of the kill.

As far back as I can remember, my father and my grandfathers have always been hunting and teaching me the hunter’s code.

Hunting is a family affair.

I believe that family togetherness is being lost more and more every day. I feel that activities like hunting can bring a family closer together.

Two years ago, my father and I went on a bear hunt in the Upper Peninsula. I was still in school, so I could not dedicate as much time as I would have liked to, setting up weeks in advance baiting and scouting.

But Dad did. Without a thought, he would drive seven hours every weekend, making sure all our ducks were in a row. He did this for well over a month. When the big hunt came, we were ready.

I will never forget that night when I shot my black bear with my dad’s old 30-06, which was given to him by my grandfather.

When we finally met up, I have never seen my father so happy. Not only did I get my first bear, but so had he.

What a great adventure that was. I think about the sacrifice my dad made driving all those hours and taking all that time to hopefully live in the moment we both shared.

And that is what all of our hunting stories are like. My grandmother has a 6-by-6 mount of a bull elk in her living room that dwarfs anyone who comes close to it.

The story of the day she got that elk, I will not soon forget.

While we were scouting for elk in the small town of Vanderbilt, just north of Gaylord, my dad and I were driving down some back roads surrounded by farmland where a heard of around 60 elk begin to cross the road right in front of us. As the last cow crossed, the big bull emerged. But he did not cross right away. Instead, he stopped and stared at the truck as my father and I sat in awe of his majesty.

That bull ended up being the same bull my grandma shot a few weeks later.

For me, hunting was a part of growing up and is part of who I have become. Family activities are a great way to stay close with the people you love.

Keep close, and happy hunting.

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