My father-in-law shot his first and only deer on his 83rd birthday. I'd built him a ground blind on our property earlier that summer.
He grew up in Southern Illinois trapping, hunting and fishing. He and his family lived through the Great Depression and they ate most everything that he caught or shot during that time.
Later, as a husband and father who worked hard both at his "city" job and on his farm, he did not have much time for recreational hunting but he never lost his taste for wild game and always enjoyed what I shared with him.
There were no deer in this part of the world when he was growing up and they were a source of great interest to him as an adult. When he decided he'd like to hunt them, I was more than happy to be of help.
His one and only deer was a 12 point buck that was about 195 lbs. A deer of a lifetime for most folks. He never hunted deer again although like many of us, he enjoyed telling the story of the one that did not get away and showing visitiors the large rack from it. He passed away peacefully at the age of 91.
Today, I hunted from that same ground blind as I have for nearly all those years since I built it for him. It has a lot of memories for me. That's one reason I'm very content to spend time there even when I don't get a shot at a good one.
If he were still living, he'd be 100 years old and his wife would be 99 just one day after his birthday. They were great folks and the best in-laws a man could have. Plus, without them, I would not have Doris.
"If he's out of range, it just means that he has another day and so do you."