Post by Ron Forester
One of the things I love about
I grew up hunting in the Texas
Hill Country, and as I grew older, I’ve hunted in Texas , Alabama , and Virginia and a few other places. I’ve hunted squirrel, cotton tail rabbits,
jack rabbits, coyote, white-tail deer, feral hogs, mourning dove, white-wing
dove, and a little bit of everything else!
But it is Oklahoma where I enjoying hunting most. Texas
My fondest memories of hunting in
go back to my early years when I was seven or
eight years old. I’d follow my grandfather
around his place in the Texas Hill Country carrying, sometimes dragging, a .22
rifle everywhere we went. And when we’d
see some game, he’d let me shoot at it. Early
on that’s what I did, just shoot at it. I wasn’t that good at hitting what I shot at
back then. As I got older, I started
paying more attention on how to aim properly, how to squeeze the trigger, and
how to hold the sights on the target throughout the shot. Texas
My parents divorced when I was five, then it was only my Mom, my two brothers, and me. So, my grandfather was the father-figure in my life, and even though I didn’t realize it then, the time I spent with him contributed in large part molding the person I am today. He was the main reason I became an Army Aviator; he always talked about flying. He flew often as an unlicensed copilot with friends he knew who were pilots, but his eyesight prevented him from becoming a pilot.
I accompanied my grandfather when he went deer hunting, and he taught me how to watch for deer, how to listen for deer, and even how to smell deer. He showed me how to identify the signs of deer, like deer tracks, deer rubs, deer scrapes, and deer droppings. When he was lucky enough to bag a nice buck, he taught me how to field dress, skin, and quarter the deer for processing. In those days, everyone processed their own deer or at least my grandparents did their own processing. I learned how to sharpen a knife, how to zero a rifle, how to track wounded deer, and a myriad of things one needs to know about hunting. Little did I know at the time, but I was being mentored, and I was learning those things that one needs to face the challenges of life.
The year 1972 was a happy, sad, and challenging one for me. I graduated from Texas A&M in May, I married the love of my life and my best friend in June, my grandfather passed away in July, and I entered the United States Army in August. The loss of my grandfather was one of the gloomiest, saddest, and loneliest times in my life. But as I look back, I was honored to have my grandfather see me walk across the stage in the San Antonio Municipal Auditorium and receive my diploma from
. I was
again honored when he saw me walk across the stage in G. Rollie White Coliseum and
receive my Bachelor of Science degree from Thomas Jefferson High School , and I was yet again honored for my grandfather to
be in attendance at my wedding. He was
beaming with pride at each of those events.
Little did I know the last chapter in his life was soon coming to an
end. As I finished my schooling and prepared to head down the highway of life, the
main mentor and educator in my life was no longer there for me to turn to. Texas A&M University
I am truly privileged to be able to say that I had the greatest grandfather to have walked the face of this Earth. He taught me to be patient, to be humble, to be proud of who I am, and to treat others with kindness and decency.