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Hunting with Dad

Howdy, Neighbor. People have been telling Phil he’s a good storyteller for a long time… so we are trying something new and pretty-much non-sales Just sharing occasional sweet stories, tall tales, and life lessons learned around these parts. Northwoods Notes are a new, semi-bi-irregular peek into the heart and mind of Phil Frasier… you can read or listen… whichever you prefer… and you are receiving a copy because you’re a current customer of Frasier’s Plumbing and Heating, Inc. We think you’ll like them, but you can unsubscribe any time by clicking on the link at the bottom. But we hope you give us a chance!



Dad was an amazing marksman. From the time we were little, he taught all of us kids how to shoot. Many years later – and several years ago – I took dad on his last turkey hunt, just before Parkinson’s forced him to hang up his box call.

It was a rough morning in South Dakota. Dad was struggling a little with his gun due to his Parkinson’s.

Now, you need to know that dad is an expert marksman. Even when he was in the military, he was the guy who taught others how to shoot a gun. His skills are legendary, and he has the medals and awards to show for it.

Dad always took his time… and he was a dead shot. Every time.


But, on this particular hunt, he was having a hard time getting out of the truck and into the blind. He could barely hold his gun.

The first morning he missed three shots. I think it was the first time I’d ever seen dad miss anything… other than the occasional miss while skeet shooting. Even then, he almost always broke the clay.

I felt so bad for him. But I didn’t let it show.

The next morning, we set up around a cut cornfield.

There we were, sitting in the blind sharing a thermos of coffee, turkey callin’ and conversating… when all of a sudden, dad whispered, “Here comes Cox’s Army.”


As I peered over the crest of the hill, I saw not one… not two… but five Tom turkeys.

I put up the shooting stick and placed dad’s shotgun on top.

Remember, dad always took his time. And I was just getting ready to tell him to give ‘em ten more yards when…


He shot early.


And I watched a bird go down.

We got out of the blind to retrieve dad’s turkey, and to our surprise, we discovered that dad didn’t just shoot one Tom, but he also got two others. Three turkeys in one shot! I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.

Dad felt so bad that he had shot two extra turkeys. I had tears in my eyes, too. Not because of the turkeys, but because I just knew this was going to be our last turkey hunt together.

My dad turns 88 today. He and I been making memories for (57) of those years. And I wouldn’t trade ‘em for anything.

I’m so glad dad and I went on one last turkey hunt.


What memories are you missing out on? Who should you be spending more time with?

The best birthday present you could give my dad is to take some time and make some memories with someone you love.

Happy birthday to the most amazing man I’ve ever known.

Take care neighbor. Take good care.

Oh, and P.S. – Remind me to tell you about the time dad’s glasses fogged up so I told him to just shoot the blob. That’s a good one, too. So many memories…


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