The Closing Of One Chapter In My Life

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ricky racer
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The Closing Of One Chapter In My Life

Postby ricky racer » Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:29 am

This year is a new chapter in my life, at least in my hunting life. I've been privileged to hunt with a good friend for many years. When we first started hunting together, I was only 19 or 20 years old. This season, I'll be 61. Gene was 20 years older than me and was originally from Pennsylvania. He came to Michigan and opened a motorcycle shop and race track. I was a motorcycle racer at that time and when he found out the I bow hunted there was an instant connection.

Gene hunted in PA when he was younger. In fact he was one of only a handful of bow hunters who hunted in Pennsylvania's first ever bow season. He hadn't had much chance to bow hunt after moving to Michigan. Together we hunted for years all over the state of Michigan, we hunted elk in Idaho and deer in his home state of Pennsylvania. Gene was one of the best natural hunters I've ever know and he's killed some huge bucks.

Over the years Geno had plenty of health issues, two open heart surgeries, knee and hip replacements and to complicate it all, diabetes. Through it all Gene proved to be one of the toughest men I have ever known. He continued to try to do the things he loved doing when most others would be setting on the couch waiting to die. The last few years he couldn't walk far from the truck so I'd drop him off close to where he wanted to hunt then go park the truck some distance away. We hunted in PA for the last 7 or 8 years spending a week out east and had a great time. Anything I ever did with Geno was an adventure.

One of Gene's favorite times to hunt was in the muzzle loader season (mid-December) in central Michigan. Him and I owned a hunting camp "up north" for years and always loved hunting that area. This last year he wanted to go up north again for a weekend of muzzle loader hunting, He took a 4 wheeler (quad) with him to help him get around. I thought it was a good idea. Gene knows that area like the back of his hand, However this year, things were different. The first time out on the quad he was lost most of the time undoubtedly due to the dementia that was effecting him to a degree. Gene realized that he wasn't quite right and sat quietly while we ate supper that night. He knew he was loosing it.

He asked me to shoot a deer for him because "I'll never get another deer again and I'm out of deer meat". I really didn't think I would get a chance to shoot something decent and wasn't going to shoot a small deer. Lake County, Michigan isn't know for decent bucks, mostly you could expect to see spikes, fork horns or small basket rack bucks. On that hunt with Gene I had a goal, to shoot him a decent buck so he could fill his freezer with some venison. That next evening the Good Lord delivered a beautiful buck in front of me at about 25 yards and I had Geno's deer. We left for home the next morning not knowing that this would be the last hunt we would ever have together. Gene died before he could get the meat back from the processor. :( He was a good friend and I am much richer for having known him.

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Re: The Closing Of One Chapter In My Life

Postby Ken (48 Cub) » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:51 am

Thanks for sharing Ricky...I too have wonderful memories of hunting with my uncle Virgil, RIP. The bonds forged while hunting are unbreakable.
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Re: The Closing Of One Chapter In My Life

Postby Urbish » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:56 am

Sorry for your loss Ricky. Since reading this, I've had "Fred Bear" playing in my head nonstop.

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Re: The Closing Of One Chapter In My Life

Postby KETCHAM » Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:58 am

Sorry to read this...Great friends are hard to come by..... :( :( :( :(
47 CUB[Krusty] 49 CUB[Ollie] 50 H-- PLOWS DISCS MOWERS AND lots more stuff!!Life is to short -Have fun now cause ya ain't gonna be here long!!!!

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Re: The Closing Of One Chapter In My Life

Postby Shane Nelson » Tue Aug 16, 2016 11:19 am

Sorry to hear about your friend Gene. Thanks for sharing with us!
God is good, all the time!
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Re: The Closing Of One Chapter In My Life

Postby Stanton » Tue Aug 16, 2016 11:33 am

Thanks for sharing your story, Ricky. My hunting friend was more of a grandfather figure; learned so much from him how to turkey hunt. Thanks to him, in part, I'm very successful today in that area. But do miss our hunting trips together.
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Re: The Closing Of One Chapter In My Life

Postby Dennis » Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:53 pm

Thank you for sharing a great tribute to your friend; it is very well written. My condolences to you and Gene's family.
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Re: The Closing Of One Chapter In My Life

Postby Donegal Cub » Wed Aug 17, 2016 6:02 am

Hi Ricky,
I haven't kept up to date with the forum for a number of weeks now due to open heart surgery 1 month ago, and my recovery is going fine. Reading your well written story of your lifetime hunting friend Gene RIP has made me realise how much the forum means. You have been extremely fortunate to have had such a good friend for a very long time and it shines through in your story how much you appreciated his company. Sorry for your loss, but the great memories you have will stay with you forever.
Bernard,
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Re: The Closing Of One Chapter In My Life

Postby Mike H » Wed Aug 17, 2016 8:21 am

thank you for sharing Ricky
its definitely tough loosing a hunting partner

Mike

RIP Joe.

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Re: The Closing Of One Chapter In My Life

Postby cub.bub » Fri Aug 19, 2016 2:02 pm

Rick,
I'm so sorry to hear of your loss of a good friend and touched by your well written tribute, I think both you and Gene were blessed to have had time together.
You're a GOOD Man.
Bruce.

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Re: The Closing Of One Chapter In My Life

Postby ctltmp » Sun Aug 28, 2016 9:07 am

My step dad was my hunting buddy. He's been gone 8 years now. Your story truly is remarkable. Cherish all your hunting memories.

Regards
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Re: The Closing Of One Chapter In My Life

Postby Pabst » Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:58 am

Sorry to read this, Great friends are hard to come by. Sorry for your loss.

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Re: The Closing Of One Chapter In My Life

Postby Waif » Fri Sep 02, 2016 9:03 am

My condolences to you .
We all have a last hunt here.
Don't know if knowing ahead of time would make the sting less ,but going would still be unquestioned regardless.
A fine buck in camp made Gene and your last hunt a red letter day and high note.
When I still had two legs I left some tracks in the deadstream swamp.
What a world , and good for the soul country.

Don't rush to catch up ...he's just younger and scouting for you two's eventual next hunt way far north of earth.
When not wrenchin on a project.

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Re: The Closing Of One Chapter In My Life

Postby dolphins » Fri Sep 09, 2016 8:02 pm

What a beautiful tribute and story. Gene will be with you on all your future hunts, and there will be times you'll know it. He may send you a good buck, save you from falling, etc. But he'll be there. I believe in that stuff!
I'm a former PA bowhunter, who has just lost the desire to kill. But the things you see from a treestand!
Good luck this year, and r.i.p., Gene.
Mark
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