Looking back..

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Raymond with is last buck

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Darrell praising God and sayin howdy to Raymond in heaven.

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My mind tends to wander when I am at work.. You never know where it will lead me. It is usually wanders to shootin my bow, upcoming tournaments or adventures. Or it might wander back to great memories.. Today that is what it did.. It got me to thinking about something I really wanted to share.

I will start it off with this. I was not born into a hunting family but did learn to shoot a gun at a young age along side my older brother. But once I met Darrell and his family they are deer hunters. His dad told him to get me into my hunters Ed class and get me huntin.. That was almost 20 years ago.. I got to hunt one season with his dad before he passed away the day before Fathers Day 1997. Now that leads me to this part of the story. One of Darrell’s uncles was a prankster.. He was always messin with someone at camp. Well one year it was decided by a group of the guys to go and take his huntin blind down in the middle of the night and hide it from him.. The next morning it was rainin and he headed out to hunt.. It didn’t take him long to come back cussing sayin “I hope some SOB (but he said it) is happy with my blind!) Well Darrell went and go the blind and said “hey I have one u can borrow if you want.” He knew right off it was his.. He started laughin and when he found out who all were in on it, I told him I went only to fold it up for them.. He said he believed that, that the guys weren’t smart enough to figure out how to fold it up..

In 2008 that loving prankster uncle was killed in a head on car accident when a drunk driver crossed the center line in a curve while speeding on the road to camp. His wife was in the truck with him and was in the hospital for a few months. She still comes to camp but doesn’t hunt much, she was just getting into it when the accident happened.. Well this last year she gave Darrell a bag full of his late uncles shirts. One of the shirts was a long sleeve button up camo. He always commented on it bein his lucky shirt. Well one morning this past Nov. he had that shirt on and said he dedicated that hunt to Raymond. And decided to go hunt one of Raymond’s old spots. After about a mile 4wheeler ride in a freezing fog Darrell, me and a friend of ours headed to the spot. Darrell went to where he was goin and Jeff and I went around the lake cove from him.. We all had our radios cuz cell phone signal was zero down in the bottoms. The fog was so thick I couldn’t see 50 yards in front of me. All of the sudden I hear not 1, not 2, not 3 but 4 shots ring out from where Darrell was sittin.. I turn on my radio as was our routine. I hear him call to me, I key up and answer but it jumps channel.. He keys up again sayin “you got a copy on the killer?” So I hurry and gather my stuff up and go to where Jeff is.. We try his radio and nothing.. But I know where he is huntin so we get on the 4wheelers and head over there.. We park at the top of a steep hill that leads to dry lake bottom was out. Off in the distance I see Darrell waving his hat. Jeff says “look in front of you”. There from the fog straight in front of me was a Rainbow, it arched over and ended on top of Darrell’s head.. I told him about it when we got to him.. I told him that hunt was for Raymond (aka Rainman). So we replayed his hunt. He had shot at and hit an 8 point 3 times. And had shot at and missed a doe.. So I told him that I wanted to hunt that area in the afternoon since he told me he saw 12 or 14 deer that morin. So I went and sat on the high bank that evenin. Seein nothing.. About 45 min before dark I hear something runnin on the blind side behind me.. Slowly she makes her way down and around in front of me. 20 yard shot in the neck with .243. I didn’t have to look for her.. Watched her go down. Since our radios had messed up that morning we had left them at camp with the agreement that if one of us shot we would go to them. I couldn’t wait and started walkin to where he was .. We met in the middle.. I took him to her and then asked if he would ride my 4wheeler down the steep bank for me. And he did and I drug her out to the dry lake bottom to make it easier to work with her.. As I got to the bottom I looked up and saw the most beautiful sunset I had ever seen.. I said out loud “Thank you God for this day, and thank you Raymond, we know you were with us today.”

Everyday is a new memory.. We just have to make them count, and mean something.. Plus everyday is  blessing from God.. Make the best of it and Love every  minute of it..

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