Will there be enough time to continue the family’s hunting/fishing tradition with another generation?

The author and his son gave these two gobblers a ride home in the back of the pickup truck many years ago.

We celebrated my grandson Allen’s first birthday last month. I’ll be 65 in a couple of weeks, and about 10 days before my grandson’s big party, my oldest daughter (not his mother) told me that I needed to live at least another 12 or 13 years.

I asked, “Why?” Was there a reason other than her just wanting me around a little longer?

She told me that her husband’s beloved N.C. State Wolfpack had just signed a contract to play a home-and-home football series with my beloved Georgia Bulldogs in, she thought, 2033 and 2034.

Other than watching the Dawgs absolutely kick butt in Carter-Finley Stadium and Sanford Stadium in back-to-back years, I have a big reason to make it another dozen or so years, Lord willing, if my ticker will keep on ticking.

Albert Threadgill, 73, killed this huge Montgomery County, N.C., buck with a crossbow. It weighed 239 pounds and had a 9-point rack that netted 1622/8 inches. See more big bucks in the Big Buck Gallery.

By that point, my grandson will be about the age that my father started me hunting, the same age that I started my son hunting, and I’d sure like to be around to see how Allen, aka “Little Dude” operates with a shotgun or rifle on his shoulder, not to mention a fishing rod in his hand.

Two of my most-prized possessions are photos of Allen’s father, my son: one at about age 12 or 13, standing next to guide Ken Dempsey, who is holding up a 60-pound cobia my son caught off the famous Diamond Shoals at Cape Hatteras; the other, from about the same age, he’s posing with my father with his first buck, in the back of a pickup truck. They were sharing a stand when he shot him. Dad just turned 91.

Between the three of us, we have put quite a few more deer in the back of that pickup truck, along with enough turkey gobblers to fill the biggest Thanksgiving dinner table at the biggest hotel; even a few ducks have taken a ride home in that 1995 Ford Ranger.

The truck left us a few weeks before it would have turned over 300,000 miles. Hopefully, I’ll still be around when I hit a similar milestone, if only to be able to share some time afield with my grandson. Maybe I can watch him carry along a family tradition of hunting and fishing.

And I’d like to see the Dawgs kick butt again

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About Dan Kibler 879 Articles
Dan Kibler is managing editor of Carolina Sportsman Magazine. If every fish were a redfish and every big-game animal a wild turkey, he wouldn’t ever complain. His writing and photography skills have earned him numerous awards throughout his career.

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