One of my most prized possesions is a photo. My Grandfather was diagnosed with cancer early in 2000. He fought it throughout the year, and finally had it "manageable" around Thanksgiving. He never was much of a deer hunter, he was more into bird hunting and small game hunting. He took up deer hunting more seriously when he retired. That year much to my surprise, he decided he wanted to kill one last deer.
The last day of the Western Region deer season my Dad, Grandaddy and I were all in the woods. I drove Grandaddy as close to his spot as I could and helped him get set up and went to my stand. It was getting on up in the morning with no deer seen, and no shots heard. I was getting anxious that Grandaddy wouldn't get his "one last deer". I just closed my eyes and said Lord if there is anyway, send a deer to Grandaddy. As I opened my eyes I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. A big doe had eased out of the woods and was standing in my shooting lane. As I raised the gun and was squeezed the trigger, another shot went off, and another. It sounded like 3 shots together. BOOMBOOMBOOM. I looked at my watch it was 9:58. I climbed down, checked the doe, and drug her to the road. I got the truck, loaded her, and went over to Grandaddy's stand. He was grinning from ear to ear. He whispered" I got my deer son, it's a buck too...". I teared up right then and there. I helped Grandaddy get up and make his way over to the deer, a nice 6 point. He rubbed the horns a little, and then I helped him get back to the truck. I went to get his deer and Daddy was there when I got it to the truck. He had shot a doe too. After getting his doe loaded up, we headed to the house.
When we got to the house, Grandaddy insisted on taking pictures of all of us and our deer. Grandma came out and took pictures. Grandaddy was weaker than a dish rag, but wouldn't go in. He made me bring a chair out of the house so he could sit and talk with us while we skinned the deer. While we were talking, I asked Grandaddy what time he shot his deer. He said "9:58". Daddy kinda jumped a little, I did to. In all the excitement, it never dawned on us that all three of us shot our deer at the same time. After getting the deer cleaned up, and Grandaddy's buck caped out, he made us take him right to the taxidermist. Boy he was stubborn. We finally made him go rest after we got back from the Taxidermist.
That day was the first time all three of us were succesful on the same hunt. Grandaddy was more excited that day than I had ever seen him over deer hunting. He talked about that deer to everybody that would listen.The memory of that day stands in the forefront of my mind to this day.
It was the last time Grandaddy ever left the house of his own power. Grandaddy passed away on January 26, 2001. In the last few days before he passed away the pictures that had been dropped off were forgotten. The day after his funeral, I remembered them. I went and picked them up, and the first picture I saw when I opened them up was the three of us. It turns out that those were the last pictures that were ever taken of him. That picture is absolutely priceless to me. Oh and on February 15, Grandaddy's birthday, I picked up his mount. The picture hangs right beside the mount in my living room.