Today, I sit typing this while reflecting upon life in a homemade tripod stand that my son-in-law (to be) helped to put up just last weekend.
It’s on a ranch we’ve leased for nearly twenty years. It’s where my daughter grew up learning to decipher the many trails, natural foods, wind directions and watering holes in consideration of where to place a stand. She shot her first buck here, first turkey here, first pig here. All with her trusty bow and crossbow. These memories will endure long after I’m unable to hunt anymore myself.
While many fine bucks have been shot over the years. We gain each season not just racks for the walls, but the most cherished of items – Memories. The best kind of memories spent with family and friends.
Quite frankly, in all the years of stomping through this thorny brush and cactus, I’m kind of shocked nobody ever got bit by a rattlesnake! There have been many close calls! But no fangs sunk into anyone!
So as we approach Christmas, like all such thoughts and reflections of Christmas’s past, my military experiences surface foremost in the mind. It’s hard to describe the solitude of standing watch while wearing a uniform during this time. And of not being able to be with family. While I am quite a bit grayer in the hair now and haven’t worn my US Navy uniform since I was 25 years old, I remain truly appreciative that despite the apparent chaos of this current generation. There are those within it whom volunteer. Those who carry on the nations legacy of unselfish sacrifice. There is a new generation of warriors spanning all branches of service whom are at this very moment, standing upon that wall or upon those decks far out to sea. They allow all within this great Nation to make their own bowhunting memories and Holiday moments as we’ve done upon this ranch.
This Christmas day, after the presents are opened, festivities of the day wind down, maybe coming back in after dark from the afternoon bow hunt to sit with family sharing a feast of a Christmas dinner – the entire VIP family would like to ask y’all to please say a prayer giving thanks to all those whom now continue to do the protecting. Fully embrace this privilege of making bow hunting and Christmas Holiday memories.
As time passes and things change. Such simple memories such as getting to know my soon to be son-in-law just a bit better while stomping through the thorns and cactus to set up a tripod stand will endure and be cherished all the more.
God bless, safe travels and straight shooting,