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rembering my mentor
When I was a boy my father did not hunt. My best friend's father did. The father, John, soon became my mentor. He soon invited me to hunt with his family. He had a way of making hunting fun even for young teen boys. He have us enough space to feel alone but was never far. We often broke for lunch with a small fire in the woods. I can still taste the fire darkened peanut and jelly sandwiches. John taught me to leave others space in the woods. If a nearby hunter shot a deer it was expected that we would offer to help the successful hunter get his deer out. If the offer was accepted we would unload our rifles and drag. If there were two of us one guy would drag with the hunter while the other would carry all three rifles. John and I put many miles in together. A true test came one year when I shot a buck. The buck staggered off and I heard a shot. My heart sank. As I followed the trail I just knew I would find the buck being field dressed by another hunter. What I found was John munching on a sandwich. I told him it was his deer as he took the finishing shot. He didn't see it that way. I offered a coin toss but he simply said he was ready to drag my deer ass soon as I tagged and dressed it. Some years later the tables were turned. John had suffered a heart attack a couple years prior. The deer had traveled down a steep bank before it died. I dragged it up to relatively flat ground so John could dress his deer. After dressing I dragged for all I was worth up a very steep hill. We tied the drag rope to more than one tree so I could take a rest a few seconds. Finally we reached the crest of the hill . John was viably worn out from carrying the rifles up the steep bank. I needed a break myself so I asked him to sit on the old stone wall while I walked the mile to get my car. When I returned John was sitting in the road beside his buck. He explained that after a few minutes he thought he was no longer worth anything if he couldn't drag his own deer. He dragged three feet and rested dragged three feet and rested until just before I arrived. We reported the deer and hung it up together. I am older than John was when this took place. I am lucky enough to have a couple younger friends. I have the pleasure of being in the woods with them in hunting season. I guess John taught me well, Bob
Good stuff right there. John sounds like a solid hunter and spectacular person who obviously left his mark.
Thanks for sharing.
Fond memories. When we are all to old to hunt anymore, I think we will all look back and know that the memories made while hunting are the reason we hunted in the first place. And you can’t put a price tag on that. John sounds like a man I would liked to have hunted with. Consider yourself a lucky man. And pass it on.
That’s a good memory and a better story. My daddy didn’t hunt either, I had to teach myself. I wish I had had a mentor like John. Thanks !
Very nice story. And a fortunate break for you and in the end for John.
Very nice story, greenmountain. Thanks for sharing it with us.
Great story and thanks for posting it.
Thanks for sharing. Sounds like a great guy.
My dad didn't hunt either, but I was blessed to have an uncle who rescued me from the farm a few weekends a year to hunt and fish. He was a bad shot, impatient on a deer stand, rarely got a deer, but we sure had fun. He told a lot of jokes and stories that were age-inappropriate. I wish everyone could have an uncle like him!
Sounds like a great mentor thanks for sharing. I think sometimes in this messed up world we forget that there are a lot of good people out there, the bad ones get all the attention though.
Your mentor is one of those unsung heroes that impact lives. You’re blessed to have met him. Thanks for sharing your story.
Every kid should be so lucky as you. Great story!
Sounds like a great man. I am sure he appreciated you as much as you did him.
Enjoyed the story, thanks.
Reminded me of growing up. My Dad hunted but had shift work, and a couple of his buddies adopted me when he had to work the weekends while I was in school. Sure was some good times and I miss all of them.
Excellent story Bob. We could all be so lucky to have a "John" in our lives. Good reminder that we should try to be that for others when we're able.
Great story, thanks for sharing. Billygoat, I did ; )
Beautiful tribute to a great mentor!
You were fortunate to have a mentor. Pay it forward if you have the opportunity.
That is a great story. Sounds to me like you were taught well, and that you learned well.