Here's a story about the bond between brothers. The bond not only by blood, but through hundreds of hours spent together in the deer woods. We all have that one special partner, mentor, relative or friend in our lives. Let this story of personal reflection, a first hand account of loss be a reminder that hunting is about far more than time in the woods. It's about sharing the memories you make with the ones you love the most!
"I remember growing up how some families were known for certain things around my hometown. My family, we were known for hunting. Specifically bow hunting. It’s one of those things that we just did. Nobody pushed us to do it. I have hunted for over half of my life and I can remember every deer I have taken. Even more that I I remember the ones I haven’t for one reason or another. The one that stands out the most happened this last year in the fall of 2016. I can honestly tell you that it will likely remain the most memorable. You see I lost my brother to pneumonia in April of that year. I didn’t however just lose a brother I lost my hunting companion and best friend.
It was pretty common as we were growing up for the two of us to be ultra competitive at just about anything. You see we were pretty close in age only separated by three years. However, as we grew older that competition became the root of a relationship that would bind us together. I almost never set foot in the timber without my brother knowing about it, and the same went for him. As cell phones came into the picture we began to text each other from the treestand with constant updates on deer movements. Many times we were only hundreds of yards apart on the same property. Of course, there was still some friendly rivalry and even a little teasing that would occur about who shot the smallest deer. However, there was always one thing I could count on. Once I had shot he would be the first call to help me retrieve my prize!
As this deer season approached I found myself not really wanting to hunt. How was I supposed to go to the timber without my brother. Finally as the weeks went by with some pressure from family and friends alike I went hunting. Then came the phone call from my sister-in-law, she had some hunting stuff of my brothers she wanted me to have. When I brought it home and went through it I realized it contained his scent proof clothing. I decided that I would wear it the next time I went. Fast Forward a few weeks and I go again. The rut is beginning to come in and deer are starting to be aggressive. It was a rainy morning and a cool front was coming in. I was soaked to the bone and about ready to give it up when something made me think just give it fifteen more minutes. All of a sudden a young buck comes walking through working a rub line. As I watch him I notice a larger bodied deer on the far hillside. It didn’t take long for him to dispatch the youngster and he turned to go away from me. I thought now or never, I gave him an aggressive grunt. He turned and immediately came up the hill like a man on a mission. It couldn’t have worked out any better, 30 yards quartered away, he didn’t make it forty yards from where I shot him.
I watched him go down in a heap, I had watched many deer do this over the years, but this one was different. Immediately my hand went for my pocket, time to make that phone call. As I pulled the phone from my pocket it hit me, he wouldn’t answer this call. I shed several tears over the next few minutes. When that feeling of despair finally subsided I realized he wasn’t with me physically he was with me spiritually. He was the reason I had stayed fifteen more minutes, and he would always be there on every hunt, in the memories he left me with. He is always there in the memories I continue to make as I pass down a love for nature to my son, as well as his. I am thankful that I had every memory I ever had in the woods with him, because that is my healing, my place to be with my brother."