With his inaugural post about a month ago, Tod did two things for me. First, he woke me up from a heat-induced near-coma, one that had kept me away from fields, shotguns, bows and cameras while I huddled up in front of the air conditioner trying to stay cool. It’s been a hot summer again here in California.
And second, by capturing a special moment on a special day while outdoors fishing, he reminded me of why we love our outdoor lifestyle so much. He reminded me of all of the great times that Tod and I have had together.
Tod has been a great bow hunting mentor. He’s always full of confidence and good advice. He’s always been willing to listen when I call him, from a tree stand, angry or close to tears because, once again, I’ve made a bad shot and have some tracking ahead. Perhaps most important of all, he’s always willing to hang a tree stand when my fear of heights gets in the way.
In honor of his initial post on Patty Outdoors, here is a little look back at the very first time we went hunting together. It was a DIY pig hunt on the Homer Martin Ranch in the spring of 1999. It was a classic Texas deer camp, with cabins, a cook house and lots of history including photos of whichever past presidents had hunted there at one time or another.
Tod and I had met for the first time at work a year or two earlier and our mutual interest in hunting and all things outdoors was the first of many natural bridges between what might have seemed our otherwise disparate backgrounds. Despite the great distance between Tod’s home farm in Tennessee and my small city corner of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, we ended up having much in common.
It’s been almost 20 years and things on the ground might have changed, but back then, the ranch had tree stands hanging at rifle distances from the feeders. Tod and I scratched out some ground blinds at bow range and settled in.
After the two or three days of hunting that we’d paid for we had both achieved a certain level of “success.” I would (and I have) teased Tod about our comparative trophies from that trip but to be fair, he stuck with the plan and took his with a bow while I struck out on that too-difficult pursuit and took mine with a slug.
Here we are now, almost 20 years later, with a lot of stories to tell and best of all, we’re still making new memories every year. Thanks Tod!