Thoughts and Prayers for Dave McCracken


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November 1, 2012, 01:24 PM
I'm sorry to have to tell you Dave has incurable cancer. He doesn't have long- perhaps a few weeks. Please keep his family in mind. I'll let folks know if there's any help we can give his family.


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November 1, 2012, 01:25 PM
As in Dave McCracken?

Say it ain't so

November 1, 2012, 01:28 PM
I wish like hell it wasn't. :(

November 1, 2012, 01:52 PM
Well THAT just ruined my day - I sent a PM, hope he is able to read it

November 1, 2012, 01:55 PM
Jeez, well, I pray every night and he will get a mention. My mom was taken by cancer. She was otherwise health, had years left in her life. It sux.

November 1, 2012, 01:55 PM
My thoughts go out to his family, friends, and members of this site who have benefited from knowing him. Need to stay positive while he's still around...a family friend was told he had 'weeks' left and lived another 8 years.

November 1, 2012, 02:36 PM
Prayers and thoughts, respect and admiration for you Dave.

May God's healing hands be upon you this very hour.

November 1, 2012, 03:13 PM
I'm very, very sorry to hear this, John.

Smoke and prayers for sure.

Old Unc'
November 1, 2012, 03:19 PM
this is horrible news. My thoughts and prayers go out to Dave and his family. I just can't imagine what they are going through. It seems that this hideous disease is on the rise. God bless you Dave, and how about a miracle from above...

Fred Fuller
November 1, 2012, 03:28 PM
I don't have the words to express how sorry I am to hear that, John. Thank you for passing on the news, even though it's sad.

We all owe Dave a huge debt of gratitude for all the good things he's done for us here in this forum, and for shotgunning in general. I envy those fortunate folks who had the chance to get in a session of Claybusting 101 with him at PGC.

God bless you, Dave, and your family.

November 1, 2012, 03:55 PM
Those of us who've not had the privilege of his company are clearly the lesser for the omission.

I am incredibly sad at reading this. :(

November 1, 2012, 03:56 PM

November 1, 2012, 04:17 PM
Dave, we love you and are praying for you.

November 1, 2012, 04:25 PM
Say hi to Dave for me. For all of us.

I hate getting bad news like this. No matter how many times it happens it's always an unwelcome shock. This is the second time since Saturday that I've heard the word "weeks".


November 1, 2012, 04:29 PM

November 1, 2012, 04:43 PM
Very sorry to hear.
Prayers sent for Dave and his family.

November 1, 2012, 05:07 PM
Sad news, will keep Dave and family in my prayers. Thank you John for posting.

November 1, 2012, 06:11 PM
Dave is a fine gentleman and we are better off for having his presence on the web.

November 1, 2012, 06:16 PM
My thoughts go out to Dave and his family.

Larry Ashcraft
November 1, 2012, 06:55 PM
Dave, thanks for devoting many hours of time mentoring shotgun folks at both TFL and THR. It was my wish to someday shoot a round of SC with you.

Our thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

Larry and Sandy Ashcraft

November 1, 2012, 07:26 PM
This is terrible news. I just joined these forums and have already learned so much from Mr. Dave.

Thanks Dave.

November 1, 2012, 09:02 PM

I will keep you in my prayers.

Just my very sad and heartfelt .02,

November 1, 2012, 09:08 PM
very sad news. my thoughts are with him and his family.

November 1, 2012, 09:32 PM
i was privileged enough to spend the day shooting with dave many years ago. a day i think of with a smile. his time, energy, and passing of knowledge to the forums is invaluable. he's a good man, and will be in my thoughts as will his family.

Derek Zeanah
November 1, 2012, 09:51 PM
Dammit. This wasn't the news I wanted this evening. :(

Dave, THR is a much better place for your involvement. Thanks for leaving your stamp here so you can continue to influence new shooters for many years to come.

November 1, 2012, 10:17 PM
Dave has helped make this site the fine site that it is. Thank you, sir; my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Larry Ashcraft
November 1, 2012, 10:18 PM
I copied this thread from shotguns to GGD, for those who don't visit Shotguns often.

Thoughts and prayers please, for a moderator who has given tons of help to our members who have shotgun questions, and a personal friend.

Tim the student
November 1, 2012, 11:57 PM
Damned horrible news.

I'll be thinking about him and his family.

November 2, 2012, 12:02 AM
Dave, thank you so much for everything you've given us.
That bit of news hurt.
Hoping and praying for you and your family.

November 2, 2012, 01:48 AM
So sorry to hear this. Thoughts and prayers your way, Dave.

November 2, 2012, 02:02 AM
Thank you Dave, We're all richer for your work here.

November 2, 2012, 03:42 AM
Hello friends and neighbors // Dave and his family have my prayers and blessings.

I've never met him or shot beside him but I admire his posts.
Especially those about sharing his passion/knowledge with others of all types and ages.

November 2, 2012, 03:53 AM
May your passing be painless, your ascension swift, and may God's comfort encompass both you and your family. So sorry to hear.

Pete D.
November 2, 2012, 06:43 AM
I am saddened by this news. Deeply saddened.
Dave is one of the men who gave "the high road" its meaning.

November 2, 2012, 07:01 AM
You're in my thoughts, Dave.

Best regards.

November 2, 2012, 07:13 AM
I will pray for him and his family.

November 2, 2012, 07:23 AM
Thoughts and prayers to Dave and his family. Dave always took the time to answer questions and his knowledge and contributions here will always be remembered.

ole farmerbuck
November 2, 2012, 08:05 AM
I'll keep him in my prayers. I lost my Sister in o9 and my Dad last year from cancer. God bless you.

1911 guy
November 2, 2012, 08:11 AM
Dang. Thinking of him and his family. He's left a mark on the forums here and hopefully the world at large by his influence. Always informative and good natured. He'll be missed.

Here's wishing you the best you can have in the following weeks.

November 2, 2012, 08:20 AM
I'll be praying for him and his family. I hope his last weeks are his best ever!

November 2, 2012, 08:42 AM
Dave, thank you for mentoring and paying forward both in this forum and outside of it. The seeds you've planted over the years are a legacy any man would be proud of. Bask in the love of friends and family now, we'll all hate to see you go but if any man deserves his reward it's you. Godspeed Dave.

November 2, 2012, 08:48 AM
I have seen the pain and sadness caused by this horrible disease twice recently, with my sister and a co-worker. My prayers go out to Dave and his family.

November 2, 2012, 08:52 AM
I have learned much from his posts. I am very sorry to hear the news. My thoughts are with him.

November 2, 2012, 08:52 AM
My thoughts and prayers go out to Dave and his family during this very difficult time. When all is said and done, Dave will live on forever in the hearts of those who loved him so dearly.

Ron & Kathy Blain

massad ayoob
November 2, 2012, 09:12 AM
Dave, we're all better people for having read what you've written here.

Jim, West PA
November 2, 2012, 09:18 AM
Nothing is incurable thru the Grace and Mercies of your Lord and Saviour Jesus, Christ.
This can be a time of spiritual healing for Dave and his family.A time to accept, turn to, and live within God's love and tender mercies.
Dave, may you and your family turn to our Lord and His undying comfort thru this trying time. He will keep and hold each and everyone of you .He has promised to not forsake you if you just ask.

November 2, 2012, 09:26 AM
My heart goes out to Dave and his family, I wish them the best in these difficult times. Dave was a member I truly admired, for both his knowledge, his passion for the sport, and his willingness to help others. Thanks Dave, for all you've done for us on THR.

November 2, 2012, 10:16 AM
Cancer sucks. I'm sorry to hear the news, and if there's anything I can do (Dave or friends) please PM.

While I've had people in my life who instructed me on various aspects of firearms, among those who advised from afar there have only been a couple who've taught me as much as he has.

November 2, 2012, 11:26 AM
Dave, we love you. Rest easy knowing you've made such an impression on so many. May your days be filled with joy, companionship, and warmth.

November 2, 2012, 11:37 AM
I have been reading Dave's thoughts on this forum and TFL since 01 or so. I feel like I know him even though we have never met. I'm very sorry to hear this. Prayers sent.

November 2, 2012, 12:30 PM
Aw man. Dave is such a stud.

He will be in our prayers.

November 2, 2012, 02:18 PM
Dave is in my prayers.
I've learned more from content here than any shotgunning class I've ever visited.
Thanks for everything.

November 2, 2012, 03:55 PM
I second all the comments and wishes. A terrible loss. Our prayers and sympatheis for him and his loved ones.

We will miss him on TFL.


November 2, 2012, 03:59 PM
Dave, Thank you for sharing yourself, your time, and your knowledge with us, the faceless masses of the internet gun world. A part of your legacy in this life will live on here indefinitely.

My prayers go up for you and your family.

Gary R.

November 2, 2012, 06:34 PM
The world will be a lesser place without him.

November 2, 2012, 06:51 PM
I, who knew very little about shotguns but had an interest, asked Dave via private message some questions that seem stupid to me now. Dave replied in detail and several times, always treating me with respect. He was always encouraging and patient, not to mention amazingly knowledgeable. I would describe him as the ultimate gentleman. I am praying for him. In recent dark times the song, Blessings, by Laura Story has comforted me.

Series 70
November 2, 2012, 08:12 PM
Dave and his family will be in my prayers tonight. Thanks, Dave, for all your contributions here and to shooting in general.

November 2, 2012, 08:21 PM
Horrible news.

Mike J
November 2, 2012, 10:35 PM
Prayers sent for Dave & his family.

November 2, 2012, 10:37 PM
My hopes and Prayers to Dave and his family.

November 2, 2012, 11:46 PM
This will be a huge loss for THR and for Dave's physical community, not to mention his family and friends.


May the doctors be wrong, may you have many happy months and years ahead, and my the passing be swift and painless when the time does come. Be strong and faithful, sir, as the human mind and spirit has often been tougher than the cancer trying to claim the body, and shown the cancer "experts" that they are wholly incapable of predicting life expectancies.

You are in my prayers.

November 2, 2012, 11:51 PM
Dave McC has always been a helpful, useful contributing member of the firearm websites that I frequent. Thanks for your assistance and input to my queries. You and your family will be in my prayers.

Best wishes, Rampant Colt

November 3, 2012, 02:19 AM
I dont know what to write.... I dont know much about Dave....

But what I do know is that he IS and always will be a class act and a nice guy.

He took time to not only reply to a few PM's, but to actually answer what I was trying to ask.

I never even owned a shot gun and had a few questions regarding inexpensive SxS coach guns. Surely a topic that shouldnt rate high on his priority list.

However, he took interest and wanted to help me rather than just answer a couple questions.

13 months later, I still have his PM's.

Something struck me about his reponses.

He obviously cares about others. It was shown in the PM's he sent to me and in every post of his.

Thank you Dave.


4v50 Gary
November 3, 2012, 03:11 PM
Wish you well and a speedy recovery Dave.

Onward Allusion
November 3, 2012, 03:37 PM
Very sorry to hear. Thoughts and prayers...

November 3, 2012, 03:46 PM
That's awful news.

Dave has enriched our community and enlightened me.

He will be missed, quoted warmly and frequently.

November 3, 2012, 05:37 PM
So sorry to hear this terrible news. May God be with Dave and his family and friends during these dark hours.
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me...Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever..."

November 3, 2012, 06:03 PM
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me...Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever..."


Our prayers are with you and your family.

Jim & Rhonda

November 3, 2012, 06:07 PM
I wish like hell it wasn't.


Better advice and more freely given will be hard to come by.

Heres to trap in the skies.

November 3, 2012, 11:37 PM
Dave, On my bench, in front of me right now, is a 1939 Model 12. It was brought in by a client complaining of intermittent light strikes, says it cost him a gobbler last season. His grandfather hunted over it for the better part of 40 years, and when I asked if it had ever been detail stripped and cleaned, he said it was doubtful. So now it's completely apart and heading for the ultrasonic bath in the morning. Probably be good for another decade or two.
I just shot a round of clays yesterday, with a group of seniors at the sporting clays range in Providence Forge, VA. This was the test run for an AL391 that was having ejection problems. It ran 60 rounds without a hiccup, so it went back to the owner this morning. He is a retired vet (80+ yrs), that shoots twice a week, (with a walker, and shoots well), but lives for the next day at the range.
My sons and I used to shoot at National Cap Skeet and Trap, before the hand wringers caught up with them. We never missed a North-South. If you ever shot there my oldest son might have been the trapper.
I think I have read most all of your THR posts and a lot of the old TFL stuff. Always calm & cool with a little advice, a barrel of information and a ton of encouragement. Whenever I had a shotgun question it was always "Let's see if McC says anything about it".
So why am I telling you this? I guess all of our histories are long and intertwined and much of the warp and woof of the tapestry we call our lives is the time spent on the range, or in the field, or on the bench, with friends or alone, doing something with firearms. And someday we will all be spoken of in the past tense, and that will happen soon enough. Live all you got left to the maximum, surround yourself with the people you love, and don't quit.
I gotta hit the sack! I have a neat old gun to clean and reassemble tomorrow, it's gonna be a good day!

November 3, 2012, 11:43 PM
This was in one of the last PM's I got from Dave:

So many folks think "Old School" is outdated.

It's certainly not.


Good luck and Best Wishes, in this world and the next.


November 4, 2012, 12:03 AM
Dave, i can't say it any better than Sam1911. I hope you are reading this thread.

November 4, 2012, 08:40 AM
I also would like to add my thoughts and prayers. I was very sad to see this.

I got a lot of wisdom from this gentleman regarding all things shotgun, both here and over at TFL. I hope for things to go as well as they can.

November 4, 2012, 02:11 PM
:( this is indeed upsetting news, some times I feel like the big C will take us all , it sure seems to go for the good ones first. The high road without Dave, can't hardly bear the thought..
Courage and strength to Dave and his loved ones.

November 4, 2012, 02:17 PM
Prayers for Dave and his family sent up. He and his family will be added to our prayer list at our church.

November 4, 2012, 08:19 PM
I just left Dave's. He was brought home this evening. I asked if he had a message for the board.

Dave says he's in no pain. Dave says he's enjoyed the time with you, and maybe he'll see you again on a trail or beside a stream.

November 5, 2012, 03:11 AM

November 5, 2012, 07:24 AM
Dave says he's in no pain. Dave says he's enjoyed the time with you, and maybe he'll see you again on a trail or beside a stream.

As said before, the ultimate gentleman.

November 5, 2012, 09:30 AM
I pray that strength is given to all so his passing is a good one.

Yes a good death is all one can pray for as we all pass on.

Meet your maker with a smile and I bless all whom you have touched and been loved by.

November 5, 2012, 12:45 PM
Take care, Dave. You're in my thoughts. Thanks for all you've done here to help me and others. I'll see you down the road.

Tim the student
November 5, 2012, 01:08 PM
JShirley, thanks for the update. That does provide a measure of comfort to me.

303 hunter
November 5, 2012, 01:48 PM
Dave,you are in my prayers.

November 5, 2012, 02:05 PM
thank you Dave...prayers sent...


November 5, 2012, 04:25 PM
My prayers as well, for Dave and his family & friends.


captain awesome
November 5, 2012, 06:52 PM
Please let Dave know that I have learned a lot from the things he has written, and particular enjoyed reading his "Fighting Shotguns" thread, on more than one occasion.
Thank you Dave, I hope the rest of your days are happy ones.

November 5, 2012, 06:59 PM
we will never meet but I have so enjoyed you're writings, opinions, and advice.

All the best to you and yours.

- Mark


November 5, 2012, 07:02 PM
That's terrible. I hope that the prognosis is wrong and that Dave still has many years left. His posts have always left me with the impression that he's a knowledgeable and well-mannered guy.

November 5, 2012, 08:15 PM
Prayers sent for Dave and his family. I read many of his articles here and on the web. He is a master Shotgunner.

Rachel McC
November 5, 2012, 09:34 PM
Aw man. Dave is such a stud.

He will be in our prayers.
This is Dave's wife. He is very ill right now and sleeping a lot. I wanted you to know that the last thing he asked for before his trip to the hospital was your book "Monster Hunter Legion" which I ordered for him on overnight and he sat down and read it cover to cover, enjoying it immensely. Probably one of the last things he's done that took a lot of concentration. He admired you and your writing very much.

To everyone on this board: Dave has been enriched by being a part of your talks and sharing his expertise and wisdom has been a pleasure and a privilege for him. I will read these comments to him.

Rachel McCracken

November 5, 2012, 09:46 PM

Your husband has taught all of us many things over the years. I really do appreciate everything that he has done. Take care of him and yourself our thoughts and prayers will be with you.


Larry Ashcraft
November 5, 2012, 10:31 PM

THANK YOU! And thank you for sharing Dave with us all these years. He is a treasure.

November 5, 2012, 11:27 PM
In all the stupid things we argue about in here, we need to be reminded that we are all on the same side, and that some of us have done a LOT to keep this environment great for all of us.

November 6, 2012, 12:36 AM
Goodbye Dave. It has been an honor.

November 6, 2012, 02:55 AM

My thoughts and good-wills to you sir, and your family.

Ala Dan
November 6, 2012, 03:31 AM
Thoughts and Prayers are with you my friend. I just wish there was something
I could do too help~! You are a gentleman, and a scholar; and very much
respected here at THR.

November 6, 2012, 10:40 AM
Thoughts and prayers for all involved.

November 6, 2012, 10:50 AM
Though I did not know him, I would like to send a prayer to him and his family as I know personally what they are going through. May God be with you Dave.

November 6, 2012, 04:40 PM
When we lose those we love, whether it's family, friends or pets, words are never enough to fill the void that's left behind, but words can surely help to ease some of the pain.

A few lines from William Wordsworth's poem "Michael" have helped me over the years ... I hope they might bring some comfort to Dave and his family.

"There is comfort in the strength of love.
It makes a thing endurable,
Which else would overset the brain, or break the heart".

Thanks Dave ... you are in my thoughts.

November 6, 2012, 04:58 PM
Been looking through his old posts. His writing was simple, direct and always informative. He never bragged or badgered. He was deeply knowledgeable and a fine gentleman. I remember being pretty surprised to hear he'd been playing Skyrim last year. Would have liked to have met him.

He also gave this advice to someone who'd lost a family member, and seems appropriate now: "Let the healing come in its own time..."

November 6, 2012, 09:13 PM
Dang, sorry to hear that, prayers for you and your family Sir.

November 6, 2012, 09:36 PM
Deeply saddened by this----the world never seems fair anymore.

Black Knight
November 6, 2012, 09:55 PM
Rachel and Dave, both of you are in our prayers. I am so sorry for the news. I wish things were different. We are all here for you.

November 6, 2012, 11:07 PM
Thank you Dave for sharing your insight, experience, and enthusiasm. And thank you for the time you spent here with us.


November 6, 2012, 11:31 PM
Thank you Dave for sharing your insight, experience, and enthusiasm. And thank you for the time you spent here with us.

^ +1 that. Deeply sorry.

November 6, 2012, 11:39 PM
Dave, I am so sorry to hear this. I hope that many friends and family are near as you go through this.

November 7, 2012, 08:26 AM
Words fail me.....................

While I never met Mr. McCracken in person, I sometimes "chatted" with him via e-mail/PM, etc. VERY knowledgeable, helpful and courteous man. I hope that somehow, some way, some time I will be able to return even 1% of what I learned from him.

We are all diminished by this.

November 7, 2012, 12:28 PM
Sorry to hear that about Dave. I'll be praying for him and his family.

November 7, 2012, 01:24 PM
I am deeply saddened to read this.

Dave, you have always been a wealth of experience and knowledge, and you were always willing to share them with us in a manner that made it a pleasure to read. You are in my prayers.

November 7, 2012, 09:03 PM
I would hate to miss the chance to say how much Dave's advice and expertise meant to me and the time and trouble that I otherwise would have devoted to foolish things. I try to tell my kids that the gift of reading is that you can learn from every mistake ever recorded instead of painfully repeating them yourself, and when they're big enough for shotguns I'll start them on his comments! Godspeed, and thanks.

November 7, 2012, 11:42 PM
My thoughts and prayers for you and your family==I have spent the last seven years,enjoying and learning from reading your posts==

November 8, 2012, 11:50 AM
This good man went his way last night, surrounded by his loving wife and children.

Blake David McCracken, I am better for having known you. Go in peace.

November 8, 2012, 11:52 AM
Rest in peace.

God bless.

November 8, 2012, 12:00 PM
Thoughts and prayers to Dave's family, it must be hard. May you rest in peace.

November 8, 2012, 01:36 PM
RIP Dave, You are with us in spirit.

November 8, 2012, 01:42 PM
God rest his sole and condolences to family.

November 8, 2012, 02:23 PM
Rest in Peace Dave and thank you!

November 8, 2012, 02:34 PM
Please post a link to his obituary and where to send cards/flowers.

Thanks in advance,

November 8, 2012, 02:37 PM
Rest in Peace my friend. Thanks for all the advice, knowledge and lessons. You won't be forgot

November 8, 2012, 02:37 PM
Dave and his family will be in my prayers.

November 8, 2012, 02:38 PM
I am so very sorry for our loss, my heartfelt feelings of comfort go out to his family... cancer took my best friend (daddy) he had many years left otherwise

November 8, 2012, 02:40 PM
Very sad indeed. May God rest his soul.

November 8, 2012, 02:40 PM
I'm a better man for having met and shot with Dave at Greenbelt.

Go with God my friend.


November 8, 2012, 02:56 PM
his family is in my thoughts and prayers.

November 8, 2012, 03:00 PM
I'll miss you, Dave.

Rest in peace.

November 8, 2012, 03:00 PM
So terribly sorry to hear this. Dave "The 870 Man" McCracken will be missed.

November 8, 2012, 03:04 PM
A great contributor, and knowledgable gentleman.
A thread in the shotgun forum was never complete unless it interested Dave enough to contribute.
We have all lost.

I waited to add some words in this thread wanting to write something good knowing comments were being read to him, and clearly waited too long.
That has reminded me not to take for granted the time we have with others.

deputy tom
November 8, 2012, 03:06 PM
Prayers sent. tom.

geim druth
November 8, 2012, 03:21 PM
My sincere condolences to the family. I never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. McCracken in person, but his wonderful posts went a long way towards making me a better shotgunner.

November 8, 2012, 03:23 PM
God rest his soul. I will continue to pray for his friends and family.

November 8, 2012, 03:36 PM
Very sad about this.
I hope he is at peace.

November 8, 2012, 03:37 PM
Rest In Peace. Your dedication and contributions here will never be forgotten.

Derek Zeanah
November 8, 2012, 03:42 PM
Forwarded from John:

Services for Dave (Blake David McCracken) will be held at 3:00pm in Sanctuary B, at Owen Brown Interfaith Center 7246 Cradlerock Way Columbia, MD 21045 on November 11, 2012.

November 8, 2012, 03:45 PM
This is a sad day for us. He was a fine gentleman.

November 8, 2012, 03:46 PM
I will pray that his family members and friends paim is eased swiftly

November 8, 2012, 03:50 PM
prayers and thoughts for his family.

November 8, 2012, 03:53 PM
I didn't know Dave, but stand with those who did, praying for his family. Heaven now has a shotgun guy.

November 8, 2012, 03:55 PM
........bless him and let him have peace. May God also watch over all his loved ones.

November 8, 2012, 03:59 PM
Heaven now has a shotgun guy.

And a finer instructor for their skeet team could never be found!

Most of the knowledge I have in reloading shotshell, and shotshell construction/formulation/tolerances came from private discussions with Dave.

Thats his legacy to me, and knowledge that I will cherish to the end of my days.

Thanks, Dave. You will be sorely missed.

November 8, 2012, 04:02 PM
God Speed Dave and my condolences to Dave's family and loved Ones.

November 8, 2012, 04:08 PM
Dave's legacy to many here is the advice that he gave in such a pleasant and non-judgmental way. In a thread a few months ago he told me "Shotguns have unmatched terminal performance. Please reconsider what your primary weapon will be...." and I listened. I've had a pistol and a shotgun by the bed ever since.

My condolences to Dave's family. :(

November 8, 2012, 04:12 PM
Prayers and condolences to the family. Sad, sad news.

Thankful for a peaceful passing.

November 8, 2012, 04:22 PM
Thank you Dave.

November 8, 2012, 04:34 PM
Lots of knowledge was shared by Dave, my heart goes out to he and his family. We have lost one of our brothers...

Rachel McC
November 8, 2012, 04:41 PM
Thank you all for being a part of Dave's life. As I said before, he felt enriched by being a part of this community.

Dave passed peacefully at home. We were all together, our children and his dog were with him. He loved life and was loved. We will all cherish his memory.

Rachel McCracken

November 8, 2012, 04:47 PM

November 8, 2012, 05:22 PM
Lost too many fine people to cancer in my life. My prayers are with his family.

November 8, 2012, 05:25 PM
Rest in peace Dave, I Thank you for the knowledge you left us. I am Praying for peace and healing for McCracken family
Truly a great loss to The High Road Family

November 8, 2012, 05:29 PM
With cancer, fast is a blessing.

Prayers for Dave and his family.

November 8, 2012, 05:36 PM
Sad day, I learned so much from him.

RIP Dave

November 8, 2012, 05:50 PM
Prayers and thoughts go out to Dave's family and friends.

November 8, 2012, 05:55 PM
Wow, I am so sorry to hear this. My thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family. Very sad indeed.

November 8, 2012, 06:03 PM
When I just was starting out shooting, I spent a lot of time in the shotgun area, just lurking, and reading the sticky library. My first gun was a shotgun. Dave's posts gave me a lot to think about, and I learned quite a bit from him.

My prayers go out to his friends and family.

Via con dios.

Chris "the Kayak-Man" Johnson

November 8, 2012, 06:04 PM
The world has suffered a great loss today.
My condolences to the family. You all are in my prayers.

I always wanted to have a lesson with Dave. It seems that'll have to wait a few years.

November 8, 2012, 06:13 PM

For us, "heaven" is to meet again in a forest beside a river in the high country, reunited with all we have known as family.

. tears .

Safe Journey.

November 8, 2012, 06:15 PM
Rest in peace Dave.

November 8, 2012, 06:19 PM
All I can do is wish him a perfectly fitted rifle, unlimited ammo, good targets to shoot, and perfect weather to shoot in wherever he is.

November 8, 2012, 06:26 PM
Rest In Peace Dave.

November 8, 2012, 06:29 PM
I didn't have the pleasure of knowing Dave but I wish only the best for his family and friends

November 8, 2012, 06:33 PM
Rest in peace Dave.

November 8, 2012, 06:34 PM
we all lost when he went. Sincere sympathy for his family.


November 8, 2012, 06:49 PM
Rest in peace.

November 8, 2012, 06:55 PM
I never asked specific advice from him but have reviewed many posts in reply to others questions and his depth of knowledge was unbelievable.:) He will be missed here for sure. I can only imagine what the family is dealing with. My thoughts and prayers are with them all.

November 8, 2012, 06:59 PM
The McCracken extended-family has my thoughts and prayers as well.

Vaya con Dios, amigo... you will be missed.

November 8, 2012, 07:03 PM
I'm sorry that I didn't know Dave but I'm sure if I would have dave would have been a great friend. My prayers are with his family.

November 8, 2012, 07:04 PM
I never had the honor to meet Dave in real life, but he has positively influenced my life nonetheless with his vast knowledge and understanding of shotguns.

I am a better shooter because of him, and his influence will most assuredly be missed.

November 8, 2012, 07:11 PM
Rest in peace Mr. McCracken.
My condolences to the family.

November 8, 2012, 07:22 PM
Dave was truly a mentor and a quick wit. We are all better for knowing him a little.

Cluster Bomb
November 8, 2012, 07:26 PM
Peace be with you.

November 8, 2012, 07:32 PM
Dave was the best, my condolences to his family and my gratitude for his sharing his knowledge and his service here.

Apple a Day
November 8, 2012, 07:36 PM
Well deserved peace to Dave. Strength and condolences to the family.

Black Knight
November 8, 2012, 07:37 PM
The McCracken family will be in my family's thoughts and prayers.

303 hunter
November 8, 2012, 07:41 PM
Dave,I never knew you you personally,but you've educated me in many ways. I'll meet you one day I know....

Sauer Grapes
November 8, 2012, 07:49 PM
Thank you for sharing Dave with us. We are all better for it.
Bless you and your family.

November 8, 2012, 07:57 PM
Though I also never met the man in person; Peace to Dave McCracken, his family, and friends. He has obviously been a part of many people's lives and will be remembered fondly and missed greatly. I, too, have appreciated the insight and wisdom he has shared here.

November 8, 2012, 08:03 PM
Rest in Peace.

See you on the 'range' that we all get to ,sooner or later.

Hope all your hits are good ones.

November 8, 2012, 08:05 PM
Wow, I just read the latest on Mr. McCracken.

Although Im relatively new to the forum I am thankful for those moderators on this site.

My prayers are with the family, God Bless.

Steven Rivas

November 8, 2012, 08:17 PM
Goodbye Dave.

God Bless his family.

May they find consolation.

November 8, 2012, 08:21 PM
I'm relatively new here, but I can see that Mr. McCracken really made a huge difference in the quality of this forum, and I suspect in other areas of life as well. I offer my condolences and prayers to his family. The loss of a good man leaves us all poorer.

Larry Ashcraft
November 8, 2012, 08:27 PM
Al Thompson has stepped up to the plate to moderate Shotguns, but all of the staff agrees that no one will ever replace Dave McCracken. He was always more of a kindly mentor than a moderator.

RIP, my friend. We will all miss you.

November 8, 2012, 08:44 PM
Goodbye Mr. McCracken, rest in peace and God Bless your family.

November 8, 2012, 08:46 PM
So sorry to hear that... Goodbye, Dave and thank you for the all the knowledge you shared with us. My best to your family and friends...

November 8, 2012, 08:58 PM
Goodbye Mr. McCracken, thank you for all you've done and shared. You were truly a man to admire and emulate.

November 8, 2012, 09:08 PM
Rest in Peace, Mr. McCracken.

My thoughts are with your family and friends, may they find inner peace in your absence, and comfort in your memory.

November 8, 2012, 09:22 PM
RIP, sir.:(

November 8, 2012, 09:40 PM
As limited as my interactions with Dave were, you just know class when you see it. So it was with Dave. My condolences to his family; thanks for sharing him with us!

November 8, 2012, 09:51 PM



November 8, 2012, 10:13 PM
RIP, Dave.

Thank you for your work in fostering and developing a community. My condolences to your family.

November 8, 2012, 10:23 PM
I don't know you Dave, I don't have to know you. A brother has fallen and this time no man shall pick you up...only the hand of the most high will take you home.

Georgia Gunner
November 8, 2012, 10:42 PM
Sad to see you go Dave, thanks for what you did here.

November 8, 2012, 10:59 PM
Condolences to Mr. McCracken's loved ones.


November 8, 2012, 11:22 PM
When we all pass over, and we will, as you are walking along a very beautiful life giving stream in a timeless place, a place of of peace and joy that we can only imagine as if seen through a glass darkly, look for a campfire and a quiet man surrounded by a group of people who seem familiar. As C.S. Lewis once said, "Once we finally grasp and understand that we are eternal beings in Christ, the troubles and losses that we experience in this life become more bearable."

RIP, Dave. You leave a fine legacy for your family and your met and unmet friends.


November 8, 2012, 11:30 PM
He's shootin trap with Jesus now. RIP Dave

1911 guy
November 8, 2012, 11:41 PM
Very sorry to heear this. My condolances to his family and many friends. He'll be sorely missed by us here on THR, even more so by the people who loved him.

November 8, 2012, 11:45 PM
My Condolences to his family and friends. The mark of a person's life is the space he leaves behind and from the comments here, Mr. McCracken's life was full and has influenced many.

November 8, 2012, 11:45 PM
Rest in Peace.... My condolences to his family and friends.

Shanghai McCoy
November 8, 2012, 11:52 PM
Condolences to his family and friends.
Always sad to read of one of our "extended family" passing...

November 8, 2012, 11:58 PM
God Bless......................

November 9, 2012, 12:14 AM

November 9, 2012, 12:19 AM
Thoughts and prayers are with those that loved him.

November 9, 2012, 12:32 AM
Farewell Dave. My prayers are with his family.

November 9, 2012, 12:50 AM
Man, I'm sorry to hear this.... my prayers to his friends and family.... :(

November 9, 2012, 12:59 AM
My deepest simpathys to those left behind! His wisdom and insight will be missed on this forum forever!

November 9, 2012, 01:24 AM
Rest in Peace.... My condolences to his family and friends.

Dave will surely be missed by many :-(

Mike B

November 9, 2012, 02:19 AM
So sad to loose one of our own :( Lost too many friends and family to cancer, please send my condolences to his family.

November 9, 2012, 03:08 AM
I'm so sorry to hear this I learned a lot from him. I will keep him and his family in my prayers.

November 9, 2012, 03:19 AM
I am sorry for our loss & his family will be in our prayers

November 9, 2012, 04:04 AM
Terrible loss. RIP.

November 9, 2012, 04:22 AM
RIP Dave....I hope the shotguns are sweet and the clays are flying where ever you are!

November 9, 2012, 04:29 AM
All, I don't get over her nearly enough these days since having online responsibilities elsewhere, but Al Norris was kind enough to cross post about Dave's passing over there.

Though Dave and I had not seen each other for some time due to my time constraints, he was one of the formative people in my entry into the gun world at a relatively older age of 35 as I stumbled into THR looking for advice on many things back in 03, but specifically on shooting trap.

Dave invited me out to PGC on a cold snowy morning with my freshly purchased 870 and walked me through the game and showed me the ropes of how to hold the gun.

We met a few sessions either by design or happenstance as I was really into shooting trap recreationally at the time. Dave went so far as to give me a better stock for my 870 and a Morgan butt pad for which he refused to accept a penny, thus introducing me to the concept of "passing it on".

It was always a joy to see Dave with his beloved 870 ripping doubles, shooting rounds of "Chinese" as he called it and always giving the guys with their fancy autoloaders a run for their money if not outright besting them.

I hope that this will be an example for all of us, that we are all mentors, teachers and role models and that we never know how far a simple act of kindness, understanding and patience can ripple outward manyfold.

As the years have gone on, while I haven't shot trap nearly as much as I would care to due to time constraints and bad shoulder injury, those few simple sessions together magnified themselves into leadership on the MD forum and directing our state-level political activist group.

Things may have been very different were it not for a cold winter's morning many years ago.

RIP sir.

November 9, 2012, 05:07 AM

While extending condolences let us also pledge to honor Dave by passing on his legacy of knowledge to others.

November 9, 2012, 05:55 AM
I am just seeing this for the first time and am deeply saddened. I spent most of my time in the shotgun section and he was always there to answer any of my questions. RIP Dave.

November 9, 2012, 06:03 AM
RIP Dave

November 9, 2012, 07:21 AM
My Thoughts and Prayers for the Dave's Family!

November 9, 2012, 07:31 AM
My Condolences to his friends and family..

November 9, 2012, 08:46 AM
I offer my sincere condolences.

Fred Fuller
November 9, 2012, 09:02 AM
Those of us who are members of a certain generation share a lot of things that young people today unfortunately do not get to experience first hand. Barber shops, for instance. And the magazines that cluttered up such places in years gone by. Magazines like Field & Stream for example, that appealed to a larger segment of the male population back then.

Those magazines carried stories by some of America's great writers. Not just great outdoor writers, but great writers period. One of those was a gentleman named Corey Ford, and if anyone here has yet to encounter his work I'd like to introduce you to it.

When I heard this news, this short story is immediately what came to mind. It brought tears to my eyes yet again when I tracked down its current iteration on the Field & Stream website. Please read it there -

Thanks so much for all you did for us for so many years, Dave.

November 9, 2012, 09:16 AM
I'll see ya on the other side, Friend.....

November 9, 2012, 09:17 AM
I am very sorry to hear this and our thoughts and prayers will be for your family.

November 9, 2012, 09:19 AM
I am also truly sorry to hear this. I pray for you and your family Dave. May you find peace.

November 9, 2012, 09:59 AM
A genuine Gentleman.

November 9, 2012, 10:35 AM
Prayers for the family and Dave.

November 9, 2012, 10:49 AM
God rest you Dave, prayers for the family.

November 9, 2012, 10:50 AM
Sincere Condolences to the McCracken family.
RIP Dave Peace be with you.
You were a darned fine Moderator :(

November 9, 2012, 10:55 AM
God Bless and RIP


November 9, 2012, 12:03 PM
I lost my grandfather to cancer a month ago. He is the man that got me into the shooting sports, and taught me the basics. Even before I joined THR as a member I spent time browsing the shotgun section for tips and tricks and I always seemed to go back to his advice time and time again.

When my grandfather passed I inherited a beautiful Remington 870 Wingmaster. When the second dove season opens, it will be my gun of choice. Memories of my grandfather and of the help that I received from Dave will most assuredly come with every shot.

Not only has THR lost a great friend and a wealth of knowledge, the world has lost a great man.

God bless you, Dave, and thank you.

Mrs. McCracken and family, thank you for sharing Dave with us. My prayers are with you, and please accept my sincerest condolences.

November 9, 2012, 12:07 PM
I will miss his contribution to the forum. I am going to bring my finest shotgun to the range and shoot some trap in his memory.

November 9, 2012, 01:37 PM
I am greatly saddened that we have lost such a good man and great mentor to many of us.

RIP Dave, my thoughts and prayers to you, your family and friends.

November 9, 2012, 02:24 PM
sad news,prayers for the family,enjoyed his posts.

November 9, 2012, 03:30 PM
You will remain in my prayers.

November 9, 2012, 03:52 PM
Im sorry to hear that you have passed and know that are prayers are with you and with your family always. Thank you for what you did for us.

November 9, 2012, 04:07 PM
we have lost a great man here on THR, I send feelings of comfort to his family.
Please let their grief diminish quickly

November 9, 2012, 04:14 PM
Our thoughts and prayers for you Dave and your family.

November 9, 2012, 05:22 PM
Very sad news , he will be greatly missed on this forum.

November 9, 2012, 05:47 PM
RIP dave

November 9, 2012, 05:50 PM
I'll add my condolences to the long list of those already given to his family.

He was truly a gift to anyone interested in becoming a better and more intelligent shooter. His articles are all well written and relevant.

I'm terribly sorry that he has passed and wish I'd passed on to him my gratitude for being such a generous teacher.

Maj Dad
November 9, 2012, 06:25 PM
If one measure of the man is the esteem in which he is held, even by those who never even met him, then he was indeed a man among men. Godspeed, Dave.

Father of all mercies and God of all consolation,
you pursue us with untiring love
and dispel the shadow of death
with the bright dawn of life.
Give courage to this family in their loss and sorrow.
Be their refuge and strength, O Lord,
reassure them of your continuing love
and lift them from the depths of grief
into the peace and light of your presence.

November 9, 2012, 06:34 PM
I am very saddened by this news.

May his memory never fade.

Best wishes to his family.


November 9, 2012, 06:51 PM
Prayers to his family.

November 9, 2012, 07:51 PM
Sad, sad news. Prayers for Dave and his family. He was a true gentleman and incredibly generous with his heart, time and knowledge.

November 9, 2012, 08:21 PM
My thoughts and prayers....

November 9, 2012, 08:22 PM
Our prayers are with you. Time with family is more important than this place, but if you check sometime, we are with you.

November 9, 2012, 08:31 PM
I learned a lot!

And I must apologize to most of you for having scrolled past your posts while looking for those written by Dave McCracken.

I could get right to the point that way, always knowing that I would find good solid information that I could use.

I'll miss his input. Lucky for us all, his words will be in the archives here and will no doubt influence many for years to come.

My condolences to his family.

November 9, 2012, 08:32 PM
R.I.P. Dave.You will be deeply missed.Our thoughts and prayers go out to your family.

November 9, 2012, 08:40 PM
I have taken this somber occasion to have a look at Dave's past posts and 'my oh my' he will leave behind a plethora of invaluable insight and knowledge that he so selflessly and laboriously contributed (I see literally up until the moment of his unfortunate and abrupt illness).

He will be sorely missed but I know he looks down upon us from above PROUD that his memory will forever be carried on via the site he so loved. Dave had an indelible impact.

RIP Dave and our thoughts are with his family.

November 9, 2012, 08:44 PM
Prayers for you- and all you cared for.

November 9, 2012, 09:01 PM
Rest in Peace Dave

Jorg Nysgerrig
November 9, 2012, 10:06 PM
Dave was the real deal. A guy who loved shotgunning and wanted to help others experience the same thing. As someone else said, he was more of a mentor than a moderator. I lurk in the shotgun forums quite a bit and there have been many times when I'd see someone post something completely ridiculous. Dave, ever the better man, would take that chance to try to nudge that person in the right direction. Sometimes he pointed out the obvious; other times Dave just started them down the path to figure it out themselves. He was the kind of guy that made everyone want to be a better contributor and a better shooter. Even on my most disgruntled day (yes, moderators do get disgruntled), reading Dave's posts made me realize that there are people who are here for the love of shooting and helping others.

I never had a chance to shoot a round with him, but it was always something I'd hoped to do.

Dave's biggest contribution was to remind people there's more to being a shooter than just talking about things on the internet. Simply following his suggestions of BA/UU/R and that the best accessory for any shotgun is a good set of wear marks are words to live by.

Rest in peace, Dave. You left this place better than you found it. Thank you.

November 9, 2012, 10:12 PM
I'm not going to pretend to have been a friend of Mr. McCracken....I didn't know him. But as a person who has lost loved ones to cancer, I pray for his friends and family in their time of sorry. Cancer is the one thing that makes me question god.......

May peace find you all sooner rather than later.


November 9, 2012, 10:44 PM
To Dave, rest in peace. To Dave's family, cherish his memory. He lived, as we all do, to one day rest in peace and be remembered.


November 9, 2012, 11:03 PM
I am very sad to read of Dave's passing, although I sense he has gone to a great reward.

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