Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Son's First Hunt Of The Year!

I thought about writing this story, but since I shot some video of it what better way to tell you about it than to show you! So here is my son Jake's first hunt of the year! Enjoy!
video

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Simple Request For Brady!

Well about three months have passed since my last post. This summer has been busy, yet almost uneventful from an outdoors standpoint. As I sit and type after 36 hours of editing our last episode of Beyond The Wild along with other hunting industry obligations and my regular duties as a dad and husband this week, I long for a day out in the woods! It has been way too long since I spent a day afield sitting listening intently for the sound of approaching unsuspecting game! Do you ever have those days where you sit wishing for something else other than what you've been doing? This week is one of those weeks, that is until I heard a story about a young man named Brady!

Stories like this always bring me to a quick realization that I'm extremely lucky to be alive, let alone to be involved in the outdoors like I am with the Up North Journal crew. The story I'm speaking of is about how Brady touched our team. It all started with our Pro Staff Member Chico Lopez that received a message from someone following him on Facebook. Chico had posted a photo of three arrows that had their new name tags on them for the upcoming season. Some of us like to name our arrows or even shotgun shells before a hunt. Sounds crazy but it's fun and gives us something to chuckle about!

The Named Projectiles

After naming his arrows and posting that photo on Facebook, Chico got the message I spoke about, asking him if he could name an arrow for Brady. It was a simple request and of course Chico said yes not knowing the full meaning of what was being requested of him. Little did he know that Brady passed away last year the day after his fourth birthday due to a battle with the evil disease of cancer. (Be sure to read Chico's story about this by clicking here.)

After the full realization of what was asked of him, Chico called me and gave me the whole story! What could I say except wow and that was a quiet heavy wow! It wasn't one of joy or excitement. It came with a heavy realization that what was being asked was that he carry this young man into the field with him! All of my little problems or worries seemed to fade fast and immediately think how we can bring honor and awareness to Brady. Chico has set the example and I'm following his lead by honoring Brady by putting his name on my first arrow of the season and taking him on my hunt!

Brady's Arrow For My Quiver

Once I placed him in his place of honor on my arrow vane and took the photo of it and placed it on Facebook along with the many other photos that other outdoors men and women had begun post, I then realized that this was a responsibility that I wanted to share with the men and women who follow our team. It made me think not of myself or my seemingly small problems now, instead I thought about what an extreme battle this four year old little man had to endure! It made me think of getting with my kids and planning a few more hunts and fishing trips with them this season instead of worrying about what I was going to do.

When you hear about a story like this, you tend to put your priorities into perspective and that is what gives our lives purpose and meaning! It isn't about how big of a deer we shoot or if we even shoot one or not! It isn't about what kind of bow we shoot, what kind of camo we wear, or if we limit out or not! It is about what you do with the time you have here on earth and how you share your experiences with your wife, husband, kids, friends and mankind!

So when your thinking about heading out this season, take a moment and think about Brady and the battle he fought! Take a moment and share the outdoors with someone new this year, take a child out with you this year and teach them about the great outdoors that God has so graciously given us to enjoy! Name an arrow or shotgun shell in Brady's honor! It isn't by mistake that I put his name on the left side of my arrow, that way when that arrow is nocked I can simply look down and there he is riding along with me on my hunt and guiding my arrow home to it's intended target!

September is "Childhood Cancer Awareness Month" go to the website to learn more about how this disease robs youngsters of their lives. Over 12,000 youngsters are diagnosed with cancer each year. Learn more about how you can bring awareness to this and help stop this disease by following the link above.