My first duck hunt carrying my own gun with my Grandfather when I was very young. An outdoor Journalist wanted to do a story on me and my Grandfather took this picture. It is one of the originals.
I type this with tears running down my cheeks and a heart filled with ache. He fought his battle with cancer for years and years like a trooper. His battle ended yesterday afternoon. I didn't know this kind of pain existed.
I never met my Father, not one time. The best thing my Grandfather ever did for me was the fact that he gave me his time. He was my childhood best friend, my Father, and my Grandfather. It was a lot of weight for one man to carry, but he did it without hesitation. Hunting, fishing, and trapping was the best gift he or anyone had ever given me. He showed me my niche.
He has made over 150 wetlands in Minnesota, received county conservation awards, and was inducted into the Minnesota Waterfowl Hall of Fame. Just to name a fraction of his many accomplishments. The reason we all can still enjoy the outdoors today is because people like him gave a damn and stood up for what he loved so deeply. He taught me passion.
Every deer I shoot and every duck I knock down, he will be there. Every photo I take and every word I write, he will be there. You will forever be with me and I hope with all my worth you are at peace. Please help guide my arrows straight and true and give me the strength to carry on. I miss you already. I love you so much. You are the best man I have ever known.