Sometimes the hunt is only a small part of a bigger story. While having meat in the freezer is nice, most of us are not in actual need of it but enjoy it as a luxury. It is good to have places like Hunters for the Hungry who find people who depend on a hunter’s harvest. Most of us just enjoy hunting because of everything that goes with it. From the camaraderie of friends to being in the outdoors, hunting is therapeutic in many ways for those who make it a part of their life. Again, that’s why the actual harvest is usually part of a bigger story.
One of those stories for me is the story of Hube and Poe. Hube is 81 and Poe is 78. They are the patriarchs of a group of bear hunters in North Carolina. They both have been hunting bears for years. I hesitate to say they have passed it on to their sons and others, because that would seem to suggest they no longer hunt. That would be far from the truth.
During my visit with them in December, Hube was able to get close enough to pull the trigger on one and Poe was just as eager and ready if his opportunity came. The thrill of witnessing Hube’s harvest was the climax for the nearly 20 individuals who were there. While Poe never saw a bear on this trip, he showed me the marks on his old Remington. There was one for every bear he had taken over past several decades.
The carved marks lined both the top and bottom of the stock and forearm. The stories that are held within these two men deserve to be mined out by us younger ones. If we don’t, they will be lost forever. The good thing about these stories will not be the hunt itself; they too will be part of their bigger story. Their stories will be about close calls and falls. About practical jokes. About friends and family who took their last hunt before they passed away. And about spiritual matters that were shared in the cabin, around a supper table.
While Hube and Poe are Christians, I hesitate to say they are passing their Christian life on to their sons and others. That too, would seem to suggest they are no longer involved themselves. That also would be far from the truth. In fact, they are the unchallenged leaders in this area as well. Just try to eat before saying the blessing and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
By Gary Miller. Miller is a syndicated sports columnist.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org