Occasionally something will land in the ACL inbox that warrants some attention on the wider internets, this short video by reader Adam Lytle is certainly one of those things. This year when heading up to his family’s annual hunting trip in Michigan Adam packed his 7D (I’m assuming — and you know what they say about assumptions) to capture what has become a cherished male bonding tradition with his family. It’s not necessarily about how much game that is “harvested,” it’s more about the stories and the time together in the outdoors. It’s something I see in my many sets of old Kodachrome slides, America’s love of hunting and fishing. Watch the video and read more about Adam’s family tradition below.
Every October for the past thirty years, my father and his brothers have come together in northern Michigan to spend a week hunting roughed grouse and woodcock amidst the color change of the leaves. The trip was originally organized by my grandfather, Robert J. Lytle as a way to spend time with his four sons, all who grew up tagging along on his many trips into the woods. On his passing, in the early nineties, his ashes were spread over his favorite hunting grounds. Every year we return in his memory.
I was lucky enough to be invited when I was twelve years old and have been attending ever since. I’ve spent many a cool autumn night staring wide-eyed as my elders recounted stories from the past. From shooting trap with General George S. Patton, to surviving attacks in Vietnam, from running away from home, to crashing Floatplane’s in Long Lake, and of course, stories of the biggest grouse they’ve ever chased. These stories taught me what it means to be a man.
Working in New York City, it gets a little awkward telling your boss that you have to miss work to go hunt animals, but its well worth it. These guys aren’t your Cabela’s rednecks. They are working men who, come October, achieve glory, as brothers, living off this beautiful land.
Well said sir. I’m interested to hear about other interesting family traditions — drop me a note via the contact box above and I may share them here.