One last trip

Foxtrot1

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
597
Location
Jacksonville, Alabama
My older brother had been going through some health issues throughout past year, so we had to adapt our plans for this fall’s hunting season. With his limited mobility, we settled on some landowner vouchers in Utah for a mule deer hunt. It was not a “trophy” area, but we hoped plenty of deer would be coming down to the irrigated fields and they would be accessible. This deer hunt became his motivation to get him through countless medical appointments and hospitalizations he endured. When times were bad, I would send him pictures of mule deer. He had to retire early this year and to keep him busy he bought an enclosed trailer to convert into a camping rig for this year’s trip. He planned a couple of month trip to visit Yellowstone and fish his way across Wyoming, with the deer hunt in the middle. He and his wife left the 1st week of Sept and headed west. They made it as far as Missouri and he had to be hospitalized. After 3 days in the ICU, they had changed his medications around and he had stabilized. He told his Dr to unhook his IV, he had to go west. When he got out, he drove all the way to Casper. They spent the next 3 weeks sightseeing and trout fishing. I got weekly updates and fish pics as he got cell service. He was the happiest he had been in a long time.
I drove out and met them in NW Utah the 1st week of Oct. The ranch owner met us the 1st afternoon and showed us where to set up camp, his property, and we knocked out some scouting. I had brought up a pot of shrimp creole, so he stayed and had dinner around the campfire with us that night. It turned out he had a pronghorn tag, so he decided to hunt with us the next day. As I had hoped, the irrigated fields were full of deer. We were able to look over a lot of them before we settled on a 4x3 that Randall would shoot. We were able to set up in front of them on their way back to bedding and get him a shot. Overall, not very eventful, but his buck was down the 1st morning. The rancher even helped me drag the buck 5-600 yards to where we could get a truck. After Randall’s deer was in the cooler, we chased antelope for a few hours before getting to watch the rancher make a long shot on a nice buck. Once he was in the cooler, we went to their trout pond and caught some 4-5lb rainbows. That afternoon, I got an old 3x3 that had a huge body. We literally couldn’t fit anything more into one day.
Randall and I spent the next 3 days camping, cruising the mountains looking for deer, boning deer for transport, and cleaning skulls. Weather could not have been better.
He followed me to Ogden, where I checked the AC blower on his truck. After getting everything squared away, we parted. He was headed back to Wyoming to fish while I took the deer home and returned to work.
That was the last time I saw my brother. His heart failed him while they were in CO, the day before they were going to head home.
It has been a whirlwind of emotions, and logistics helping my sister-in-law handle everything to get him home.
At the end of the day, he was able to do what he loved right up until the end. I can’t tell you how much that deer meant to him, and I am glad I got to be a part of it. He met so many wonderful people that helped him along the way. From the rancher to guys he was camping next to that took him fishing in their boat. I am comforted that my last memory of him was in camp and not a hospital bed. 20221003_095132.jpg 20221003_095104.jpg 20221003_080605.jpg 20221003_080445.jpg 20221003_115432.jpg 20221005_161805.jpg 20221005_151239.jpg 20221005_100850.jpg 20221005_101628.jpg 20221005_101252.jpg 20221005_101234.jpg 20221005_105203.jpg 20221005_111703.jpg 20221005_151059.jpg
 

Elktrack

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 5, 2022
Messages
226
Location
Idaho
What better way to spend his last days!
Glad you could be with him.
Sorry for your loss
 

270.Rose

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 12, 2020
Messages
186
Beautiful photos, what an amazing final memory to have together. Praying for you and all your family.
 

duck wrangler

Active member
Joined
Jul 30, 2019
Messages
143
Prayers for your family
When my day comes, I want to be doing what I love; not in a bed.
He got to live that and you were fortunate to be there with him.
 

Hunter4Life78

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 4, 2022
Messages
639
You said it best. You will remember him in the wilds, and that is awesome. It's easy to see where and when he was happiest. His smiles are huge and ailments didn't keep him down. My condolences to you and your family. Prayers sent.
 

thomas89

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 9, 2015
Messages
777
So incredibly bittersweet.

What an honor to be able to share his last few days.

Very sorry for your loss.
 

Pahoundsman

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 3, 2020
Messages
429
Location
Central Pa
My prayers are with you and your family, what a great way to go, if there is one. It seems your brother enjoyed life to its fullest right to the end.
 

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