A friend sent me an email last week. His grandfather had passed a few weeks ago, and received this letter from one of his grandfathers hunting buddies. I am always trying to understand this mystery of why men hunt, and what I am drawn to in it. When you say you hunt, there are many different reactions that come up. and for many good reasons, and I have considered them good reason to search my own soul in trying to attempt to understand it, and what is in the dang thing.
This was one of those emails that reminded me of the complexities, and riches that are found there, and a bit of an inside way. I was allowed to share this with his permission...
> I was saddened to learn of your father's passing and I
> have been remiss in dropping you a line. I know from the
> tone of xxxx's email, forwarded to me by Jeff, in
> July, that your dad's passing was hard for him. I'm
> sure that is true for the whole family. That's the way
> it is in a close family, and the way it should be.
> Your Dad was certainly special to lots of people. He
> became one of my favorite people to see at camp. His
> occasionally gruff exterior was a bit intimidating to an
> unsure teenager introducing himself to a roomful of seasoned
> camp-goers. Once the ice was broken, however, it was hard
> not to like a man whose laugh was even louder and more
> genuine than his occasional bark. I was surprised to walk
> into deer camp about 10 years ago and receive a big hug from
> your dad. I appreciated that hug each and every hunting
> season I saw him after that.
> Of course, your dad's pride in you and the rest of the
> family was evident in just about every conversation. The
> Tibbit family is a smart, accomplished, bunch and he never
> missed a chance to talk about his sons and grandsons and all
> that they were up to. I, and others, really appreciated
> your efforts to get your dad to camp over the last several
> Your dad also was one of the last to carry the torch for
> many members of "the greatest generation" who have
> shared the Narrows for so many years. I wish we had more of
> their stories on paper and their escapades in pictures.
> One thing hunting in the Narrows helps us appreciate is the
> constant change around as well as the sacred, and fleeting
> nature of life here on earth. Your dad certainly had a
> great 88 years. If we can all carry our deer rifles until
> we're 84 and then enjoy a handful more seasons in a
> rocking chair, we'll have done alright. He's
> probably sitting under a tree right now with Bud Fore,
> spooking the game as they talk and laugh.