Ode to Grumpy


November 5, 2013, 06:49 PM
I've been hunting with Steve (a.k.a. Grumpy) for 12 years.

My parents wouldn't allow me to own a BB gun. When I was 10, Doug Tucker and I took his BB gun out to raise some hell. He tossed over a pallet in an empty field and a mouse ran out from under it. I hip shot the poor bugger and the BB went in one ear and out the other... I was hooked on hunting.

Raised in the suburbs with no hunting access and no one to take me, I figured if I couldn't own a gun, Uncle Sam would give me one for free - so I joined the Marine Corps infantry (0311).

I deer hunted a few time in my early 20s, but life got in the way and I couldn't keep up the practice.

Finally, I met guy who's now my best friend (a killer in his own right), and he invited me elk hunting in 2002, and I've been going ever since. Grumpy is his father. Grumpy made fun of me for years because I was so inept ("damn city boy"). I tried very hard to kill one, and kept getting a little better every year, but I wasn't until year 5 that I got my first one, and I've been downing elk yearly, since. During my initial drought, Grumpy never let me go home without meat, ever. He knew I was trying hard, and learning all I could about gutting, skinning, boning, etc., in the interim.

On Oct. 21, 2013, I was hunting with Grumpy's younger brother in the evening. We saw some does, and went back to camp after dark...we found Grumpy dead of a heart attack next to the wood pile; he was only 65, and was like a father to me. He taught me everything I know about hunting, and turned me into a killer. I will miss him!

No sympathy asked for here. He died like he would have wanted to go, at elk camp.

I only write this so all you hunters appreciate your hunting buddies, family and friends, etc. They can be taken from you in an instant.

Here's to you Grumpy!! You cantankerous SOB!!!

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November 5, 2013, 07:41 PM
My kids called my dad "Grumpy". I sure miss being able to hunt with him- going on 8 years now.

November 5, 2013, 07:59 PM
I'll tell you something, and I hope it comes out the right way. While the loss of Grumpy is profound to those of you that knew him and came to treasure your time with him, his story is beautiful.

For a man of the outdoors to spend his life the way you describe and then have his life come to end, in elk camp, next to the woodpile doing what he loved, is simply fatastic. We should all be as lucky as Grumpy, even if his life was shorter than we wish. His life certainly sounded rich.

November 5, 2013, 09:56 PM
I too lost a friend and mentor in elk camp in November of 79. He was the father of a close friend and had taken me along on great hunts from Colorado to old Mexico. Not only a father figure but one of the best marksman that I have hunted with.

November 8, 2013, 01:05 AM
Sorry for your loss. While I'm sure you feel a great loss he has given you a great legacy and wonderful memories. If I have to go, and we all do, being in a hunting camp ain't such a bad way to go.

November 8, 2013, 05:55 PM
....to grumpy (a toast)

November 8, 2013, 06:09 PM
I will break out the good scotch tonite. Here's to a hero we should emulate.

November 8, 2013, 09:24 PM
I'll tip a Shiner Bock in Grumpy's honor.

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