We hunters are now in a kind of timeout. Rabbit, quail, grouse, and fur bearing seasons are still open for a few more days, then we are done for until spring turkey season. But the great memories of hunts with friends always flood our minds and stay long after the hunt is over.
As I continue into my final years of this journey we call life, I want to take time to tell some lifelong friends of mine, thanks for the journey. During this offseason we will visit with some old hunting buddies.
My dad’s best friend, no doubt in my mind, was Tom Fleming. One of my best friends was and still is Tom’s son, Leonard Fleming, of Kona.
Leonard and I have walked this journey together now for well over 60 years. Norma, his wife, has fixed me a ton of meals and I have enjoyed the company of their son Ross on many hunting trips.
Leonard is now well into his seventies and is totally disabled. The two of us hunted together in a snowstorm on the opening day of Kentucky’s first-ever statewide turkey hunt in 1996. We have traveled to North Carolina, Virginia, and western Kentucky to hunt deer, squirrel, and black bear. Leonard was the first hunter I know who took a black bear. I have tried to follow in his footsteps, and now have 11 black bears.
Memories and real friendships are something we cherish and always will. Thank you to Norma, Ross, Tina and of course Leonard for walking this path with me. Our hunting trips will always be part of my life. We had a good time.
Next week we will write about Raymond Brown of Dry Fork.