First - sorry about losing your best hunting partner. Dads are great hunting partners as is mine. However, look at it this way - this does give you an opportunity and does not have to be a challenge. It is always great to have the couple of hunting buddys around the camp fire and with the help in hauling out your harvest - so I say work on that hunting group scenario. You did write that this is an "all or nothing" with the family group. If that is so you have a good percentage of possibility to be on your own. So you have two options (1) plan alternatively that you will be hunting alone or (2) plan to have back-up hunting partners if possible... and if the leftover tags allow. Leftover tags also allow a decision to be made on alternate hunting partners after June of next year and could also provide you with 1 or 2 more people to be added to the hunting group if the hunting area allows. Personally my backup plan this year was to hunt alone... and I had to for half of the 1st rifle season and early deer season. But that was okay and I think it would be okay for you too. Good luck on whatever you decide to do.