My Father passed away recently at the age of 95. His health was “better than he deserved” until the end. We all would wish for the same.
Hunting and fishing kept my Father active and healthy. Fishing in Yellowstone was his favorite. Buffalo Ford, Slough Creek, the Gardiner River, The Madison “Barns Holes”, and the Gibbon River all held special memories. Any honest hunting and fishing anywhere were always great.
His best outdoor memories were when he was with family and friends. There was always a lesson to teach, something to learn, or fun to be had. Sharing the gift of nature has been done throughout time. It should be required living! Learning to hunt, fish, track, start a fire, and survive outdoors is empowering and builds girls and boys into men and women.
In World War 2, my Dad was a bombardier on a B-17G. He was shot down over Germany on his 50th mission. As a POW, he escaped back to allied lines. Those Outdoor Skills he learned, and taught others, had saved his life.
As kids, my Dad took us camping, fishing, and hunting. Great parents do great things with their kids and the gift of the outdoors was shared with us. Scouting, sports, and many activities kept us out of trouble. Scout Laws, rules, limits, quotas, and being encouraged to make good choices was so important. Nothing teaches us more than a Big Fat Mistake! We don’t understand bad choices or these mistakes until a parent or mentor reinforces their meaning. That’s the job of Family and Fathers!
Outdoor connections last a lifetime. Memories will be shared and passed along for generations. It is important to remember this when we are quietly afield and enjoying nature. The wind in the trees and grass, the rippling waters, and sounds of nature are whispering to us to keep on celebrating our lives. There is always plenty of room in a drift boat, hunting stand, or campsite for the stories and memories of the great sportsmen before us.
Our family will be revisiting my Dad’s favorite outdoor spots over the next year. Some ashes here and there will be placed in his honor. We will take more memories and a reminder to live our lives to the max. One day, too soon, it will be our ashes.
Celebrate our outdoors while you can!
For more Montana Grant, visit www.montanagrantfishing.com