Saturday, October 6, 2012

Grouse hunting after my father's funeral

As some of the readers of my blogs may know, my father has been battling cancer since the beginning of my Summer break, and I am extremely sad to say that that he has recently lost his battle.  I spent almost a week back in Wisconsin for that, and I thank everyone that has offered me their condolences and support in this tough time.  I spent almost every day extremely busy with that situation, but I did finally get one day to do something which I considered the perfect ending for for my trip to Wisconsin.  My father and I had basically exactly the same interests and hobbies, even though I was not very close to him except for these last two years.  My father and I both loved golf, hunting, fishing, and basically anything outdoors.  Before I left my Dad's town, his wife gave me a hat he got for hunting.  Just before I drove back to my home town of Shell Lake I got the idea with the beautiful fall colors, and my Dad's love for the outdoors, that I needed to take my only spare day and enjoy my time in the woods grouse hunting.  I texted Eric Friday last week and asked him if he wanted to go grouse hunting the next day.  He said, "sure," and we planned.  Patty, was of course with being my support for the tough times.  The next day after Eric did some grouse hunting of his own he picked us up to go.  Patty, didn't get a gun, because the out of state 5 day license in Wisconsin is $55 which is quite crazy just for a small game license.  It would be Patty's first time out upland hunting.  I wore the hat my Dad's wife gave me.  Eric, Patty, and I hit about every piece of public land around the Shell Lake.  The fall colors were nothing short of beautiful.  We also got a lot of grouse action.  If I recall correctly we saw somewhere around 8 grouse and Eric and I got one.  Maybe, my Dad's hat was lucky.  Either way it was fun.

To me, this was the perfect ending to my emotion filled stressful week, and I feel it is exactly how my Dad would have wanted me to end the week.  It was beautiful outside, I was wearing one of my Dad's hats, and we got some grouse to eat.  Thinking back at it now, that day still makes me happy.  I could not think of a perfect way to end the week for me, and I thank Eric for taking me out, Patty for coming with, and any unseen forces that helped make that day so magical.  Remember everyone enjoy the beauty of the outdoors, because you never know how long you have left.

Here are a few pictures.
Patty's first time out upland hunting..

My dad's hat with a feather from the grouse Eric and I shot in it with some plants from the fuenral

Eric and I walking a trail with me wearing my Dad's hat

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