And not just "any" hunters… hunters I knew from years ago. Good friends. All of us have enough 'dirt' on each other to possibly warrant a life sentence. But the 'code' is sacrosanct… I never for an instant worry about that, nor do they.
We spoke of specific hunts, some of them 40 years distant, but each like they were yesterdays news. I'm not sure why, but then again, I probably do, the 'stories' never get old. Not ever.
If anything, they get 'better'. Embellished, to be sure, but not as much as you would think. No need. The tales and legends stand firmly against the cold reason of time… sometimes, I believe, the stories are not embellished as much as they are diminished.
I am particularly fond of the "my Dad did this" stories… or perhaps "my uncle". For in my mind, and I think in fact, they lived an era that I can only dream of… yet feel as a sacred duty to pass on to my kids, and grandkids. The wonder of the world they lived in is a thing of the past, never to return, but the heartbeat of who they were still beats… as long as I tell the stories… and if I'm any kind of granddad at all then my grandkids will tell to their kids.
Very importantly, I think, is that with my old friends this evening there was no gloom of loss, or depression, though such emotion would be fully warranted today. Instead, there was pride, and satisfaction that we had carried the torch our father's had lit.
None of us doubted that… or even considered it… I thought it only this evening when penning this post.
It's very easy these days to think our world is gone… that is, the world of the 'hunter'. It is not… and I often see the 'life' of it still beating at gun shows, outdoor shows, and various other events that take place around the country, and world… but not quite as significant there, to me anyway, as when I am among those whom I lived with as fellow 'hunters'; and shared my stories with, and theirs.
Kudo's to the younger generation for being so knowledgable about weapons, and ammunition… I don't think my generation can claim the same, but we weren't 'bad'. And praise to the younger generation who see hunting as more than an 'app'.. or a formula quantified in numbers… who still trod in mud, new mud-repellent footwear or not - hi-tech camo or not - night vision goggles NOT -- or believe the worth of their hunt is NOT dictated by any type of 'gear' they may possess. There are many of you… I offer my thanks - that my grandkids, when they come of age, will find friends who 'get it'.. - JamesJM