A chance to give back

April 29, 2008

Faith Outdoors

As is my custom, I started contacting landowners after my turkey hunt to thank them for letting me hunt on their land. I wrote a couple of letters and made a phone call to one gentleman in Minnesota who let me come down and hunt on his farm. We have hunted deer successfully on his land and I was trying it for turkeys for the first time.

I didn’t get a bird there, although I spooked two on my way back down to my car. When I called him two days later, he said he had seen turkeys just that morning not far from the house. Too bad, I thought. I plan on coming back to his farm another time to try for turkeys.

Certainly, I will be back in the fall for deer hunting, which I talked about with the landowner. And, to my surprise, he asked if he could hunt with us. “Of course,” I replied. This is a rare chance to give back to a landowner who has been generous in granting permission to hunt on his land. He went on to say that he did some small-game hunting as a kid and would love to try hunting again. It has been a while since he has gone out into the field with a gun, but he seems genuinely interested in getting back into the sport.

And, I am happy to oblige him. In fact, I told someone I work with about it and he has agreed to make a deer stand for this landowner. I can’t wait to come down in the fall to show him the deer stand and put it up for him. He’s getting older and has had some health problems, so we’ll need to wait and see how he’s doing come November.

But, I pray God will give him the chance to experience a sport I have enjoyed and have shared with my children. My No. 2 son, Andy, has yet to kill his first deer and he may do it on this man’s land in November. I would be thrilled if both Andy and the landowner could shoot a deer on this farm in the fall.

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About Dave Hrbacek

Staff photographer and writer for The Catholic Spirit. Also, avid outdoors enthusiast with a passion for hunting, fishing and photography. Married to Julie and have four children, three boys and a girl.

View all posts by Dave Hrbacek