Monday, November 21, 2011

A Love One Lost & A Lost Love Discovered

     I do not usually get too personal or divulge deep feelings of my life over the Internet or discuss things about my family too much, but this week a few things happened to me that caused me to rethink my commitment to keep the blog centered on "The Beard".  First on a sad note my grandmother Joyce Kathleen Summers-Catalde passed away at the distinguished age of 93 years old.  She was a wonderful woman that loved me and my family dearly.  Always a kind word and a smile for me as far back as I could remember and she always had a warm embrace to give to anyone who would take it. So before I go any further "Thanks Grandmom. Miss ya."

    At the same time while I was loosing something so dear to me something else brought me more joy and amazement than almost anything else in my entire life, I took my 6 year old son hunting for the first time.  Sure we've gone out to spot n' stalk Black Tail deer at grandpa's house but this was a whole new adventure, a whole new world of dirt and discovery.  Just "Chew" and Dad, the boys out to get dinner for the fam.  I'll be honest I did not have high expectations of the trip, I mean I knew that there were ducks at my spot, but I did not think he could stay still long enough to allow me to get a shot off.  And for the record we did have a set of Mallards and flock of teal come in earlier and he was so excited he just kept yelling "get'em dad!" and "great shot!"  But the funny thing is I think they knew we were there from a mile away, something about a little boy, guns, dad and hunting that can turn up the volume on a normally quiet kid.

   Life was good even with the busted fly by of table fare. We just sat there and honed his skills of marksmanship by shooting his slingshot at lizards, rocks, and the river.  I had to explain to him that he wasn't Rango and "we do not shoot hawks."  He just replied, "hawk dead, snake comes." All you parents with kids know what I mean.  So after a break from our little "Lord of the Flies" adventure, we took to our boots and headed down the road.  After some creative stalking on a few ducks we were able to call a nice Gadwall in to join us for dinner. The turn, the approach, and the shot all went perfectly.  Luckily for me the tide was low and I was able to wade out in the river and pull her to safety.

  What happened next made my year, my son's first experience with a duck.  The video does not do it justice in the least.  His amazement and wonder at the duck was astonishing, he had to know everything about the duck and studied it's intricate details for the rest of the hunt.  I am still not sure if it was my duck or his, but the more I think of the day, it was our duck.  We, together, provided for our family and were able to fill the freezer. Chew's words of encouragement, "great shooting" and "let's get a daddy duck" will always stick with me.  I am not sure who enjoyed the afternoon more, me or him.  I guess all I really know is we both gained something that day, Chew got a little older and closer to being a man and I found the best hunting buddy a man could ask for, his son.

  I lost my father a few years ago and I'll be honest, hunting just hasn't been the same. Last Tuesday, I had the same feelings of being connected to another person while hunting that I had not had since my last dove hunting trip with my father.  It was not just a good day, it truly was one of the greatest days of my life. I look forward to taking my son, and someday my daughter, out hunting as much as I am able too.  So yes, I did loose something this week, but I found a lost love with my new hunting buddy.


The Bearded Boar

****This is my submission for the Sportsman Channel Writing Contest for Hunters hosted by the Outdoor Blogger Network.****


  1. Sorry to hear about the loss, but excited about the new found hunting partner. It is something we must teach and pass on. Those are the years of wonder, and that duck hunt will remain with him so that he can pass it on to his kids and grandkids.

  2. Excellent. My son Duck hunted with me at 4 years of age.
    That was 15 years ago.There is nothing like it. Since then we have hunted
    just about everything together.Its an experience with kids and there is also a huge
    mnount of responsibility that goes along with it as well since kids are so curious.
    When they get older and can handke their own gun and shot placement it makes you even prouder that your hunting buddy has safety remember every cautious and fun thing there is about hunting and being a responsible person.
    My son picked up a pintail head after we had cleaned the birds one morning and i never saw it happenen. We also never found that head until 10 years laters.
    he out grew his clothes and the pocket of his hunting jacket was a perfect
    place for this taxidermy to take place.It never smelled or rotted it was
    perfectly preserved in his pocket just a little dried out.
    We we going through his old clothes one day when i noticed there was something in his pocket.It was hilarious.
    those are the memories

  3. Excellent Blog also. Good luck with your entry.

  4. Tony, sorry to hear of the loss of your grandmother. Sounds like she meant the world to you and your family.

    Great story with you and your boy. I'll bet he's hooked for life now! Definitely enjoyed reading all about the hunt and you guys look super happy in the photos. Awesome! Best of luck in the writing contest!