Memories, your most cherished?


Elite Refuge Member
Jul 8, 2009
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Vacaville, California
In my youth, I was mentored by a half dozen of Dad's friends, as Dad wasn't that much into the outdoor world. Countless times I was picked up in the middle of the night, waking up at some cabin or field, somewhere in central Illinois.
By the time I got back from the service, several of those mentors were on their last legs...cancer taking a horrible toll. Lacking young blood, the duck club and fishing cabin had been sold during my absence.
I was able to get an easy rabbit hunt planned for three of the old boys. I busted brush and carried all the game, plus took the guns and gear to the nearest access while going after the car. It was the least I could do for their decades of dragging me along.
Two of the three were gone by the next season. By the time I was 30, all but one were gone. One regret I have is that I didn't take those old boys on a few more outings.

We did the same thing for the old timers in our club back in the 80's (they were in their 50's). Now they are all gone, and there are only two of us young guys left (both getting close to 70). Those old guys' grandsons are now taking care of us.


Elite Refuge Member
May 11, 2001
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Roscoe, IL
I have almost always hunted alone. Up until reading this thread, my reason for
doing so just seemed normal. Most of the posts seemed to evolve from a parent
taking them hunting and fishing. When I was very young, my parents would take us
north into Wisconsin for a week on a large lake.

To this day, I have never really understood why. I did not know what an alcoholic
was and soon realize being alone was relaxing and fun. I often went out fishing
(sometimes all day). Our small boat had a motor and no one seemed to care that their
ten year old would spend hours out fishing alone in a boat.

One day the motor would not start so I rowed out into the lake. The wind came
up and soon I was loosing ground to the far side. After awhile it was clear that I
was in trouble. Then just by chance someone saw me and saved the day.

A few years later, Dad was no longer with us. There were no trips north and school
became important. I never fished for several years. Then one day a friend of mine (we
were both seniors) asked me if I wanted to go rabbit hunting with him. His beagle was
well trained and back then rabbits were like flies (every where). The excitement of
hearing his dog take off loudly, then fade away and then finally coming back into "range"
immediately changed my entire life.

Fishing and hunting became a passion because of a high school friend and his beagle. :yes


Elite Refuge Member
Oct 17, 2001
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Chasin ducks
Great story,I had very similar story's with my granddaddy. I thought that he could walk on water!!


Elite Refuge Member
Nov 16, 2003
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Stitzer, WI
So sorry for your loss Bryon. As you are cherish the memories.

My dad has been gone for over 26 years now. We hunted some, not a lot together, he was out more for a get away. But our hunts together, I remember and cherish!

We were both carpenters and worked for the same company for 10 years. What I didn't realize until he was gone was how close we both really were. I realized this when at family gatherings, which are quite often, how much silence there was in his absence. Without knowing it, we talked shop, a lot!. We both were fortunate to enjoy our work.
So yeah, I miss him. He was ripped off dying at 62, 3 weeks short of retirement. I do cherish the memories!


Elite Refuge Member
Jul 7, 2014
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Well today, we laid him to rest.
In good Army fashion….. it was pouring, wind blowing at 16mph, and 61 degrees.
“If it ain’t rainin, it ain’t trainin”

I know he was smiling down, laughing at us.

Going to raise a toast at 2100.
I would ask that you join me in raising a glass.
Not for my Dad, but in remembrance of someone you miss.
Or/And - in remembrance of the Warriors that have passed.


Elite Refuge Member
Jul 7, 2014
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As many of you know, it has been a rollercoater for me since beginning of Dec.
While on the ventilator, I had some “dreams” that I would of sworn were real life. Once off the ventilator,I did have “foggy brain”. Wide awake, but dreaming/hallucinating of people from the past, and events, due to the heavy sedation drugs.( really freaked my wife out)

Anyway, while laying in the hospital bed, there really isn’t much to do but think/reflect back on life, and plans to move forward.

one night, around 0200, I was awake. Started thinking about a squirrel hunt with my Grandfather ( mentioned previously).
I was around 10-11, and was in NE Missouri visiting my Grandfather.

He said come on Grandson, let’s go shoot some squirrels.
I had a westernfield, 3 shot bolt action .410 that I had mowed lawns to buy from a friend of the family. Paid $25 for it, which meant I mowed about 18 lawns.

we go to to the truck and he hands me the keys to the truck, and down the gravel country roads of NE Missouri we go.

He had permission from a friend to go hunt a stand of Hickory’s along the river in the bottomland.

we get there, and he send me in one direction, and he goes in another. ( better our chances) I know he can see me, but I can’t see him. I knew he was behind me, so I knew not to shoot in that direction.

I found a big tree and leaned up against it. About 10 minutes later the activity started.

I shot 25 times, and had 24 squirrels, lost one in the creek.
all I had was 1 box of shells, so after collecting up my squirrels, and tucking them in the NEW fancy game vest from Montgomery Wards ( which I got for Christmas the previous year)

I head to the truck.
Grandpa was already there. As soon as I get to the truck….
He says. I didn’t bring you here just to shoot.
I said I was shooting squirrels.
He replied, you were just down there target practicing.

At this point, I started reaching in the game vest and pulling out squirrels, placing on tailgate.

His eyes got wide, and said…. Oh Grandson.
About that time he looks up and sees a vehicle making it’s way towards us coming down that dusty gravel road, with a dust plum rising.

Grandpa says, I think that is the Game Warden, and starts tucking squirrels up into the wheel wells of the truck.

Vehicle pulls up, out steps one of the Biggest guys I have ever seen in person In my life at that point.
Easily 6’5”, and around 290-300lbs looked like he belonged on football field (Pro) ( keep in mind my idol was Dick Butkus)

So the Game Warden walks up, greets my Grandpa, and says I know you have a license, but I need to see the kids.

So I pull mine out, and hand it to him.
He asks which Grandson am I. I tell him my name, and which of Grandpa’s sons I belong to.

Game Warden says…. Looks like you all had a little luck. Have a good day.
He starts walking back to his vehicle, stops as he grabs door handle and turns.

Says to my Grandpa, I am not sure what the Bag limit is in FL, but in Missouri it is 6 per day. Make sure the kid understands that on the next trip.
Before you leave, don’t forget to take those squirrels out of the wheel wells.

It never failed in the years that followed, whenever we were together, he would tell that story to all, that were at hunting camp.

He was also the Man, who taught me never to take more than 3 quail from 1 covey. All quail had to be shot in the air, no ground swatting them.

During my memories/reflections while in the hospital, there are more stories.
But those are for another Day.

I have been truly blessed.
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Elite Refuge Member
Apr 18, 2020
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Finksburg, MD
My dad wasn't an outdoorsman and I used to take my son duck hunting as a young boy but since he lives out of state we can't duck hunt much anymore but we do shoot 3-D archery and play golf together. My grandsons aren't hunters either but we play golf and fish together so my waterfowl story will be about my first goose.

In 1965 a friend took me to a farm in Kent Co, MD and we got into a pit blind with 24 silhouette decoys in front of us. He told me to stay hidden and he would call the shot. I could hear them coming and he admonished me to stay down and then yelled "Take em." I jumped up and the sky was empty and spun round and round thinking I missed them. He was laughing his head off, a big jokester. Later another toll of geese came in and he called them. I jumped up with my brand new Remington 870 Wingmaster my wife had given me for our first Christmas. I shot and a bird fell and I had killed my first goose. This is the picture.


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