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Saturdays are for Legends: The Badlands Veteran

My grandfather, a WWII veteran, was a sharpshooter and a little tin can destroyer. He hunted whitetail, elk, mule deer, antelope, mountain lions, etc. He hunted just about anything really. When he made it home from the war, him and his buddies went hunting for something that wasn't shooting back at them. They traveled through the badlands and from what I've been able to track down, bought some stuff along the way at the Navajo reservation in Lubbock, TX. He got a bone knife with his name in it and a ram bolo tie made from mother of pearl. He had some very cool trinkets and after some phone calls and a talk with a historian in Lubbock, they told me where they came from. The bone knife also has a branding in the case from Lubbock TX.


His mounts on the walls tell enough of the stories themselves for a man that said little. When he was in the right mood you could get a few stories from him yourself. However the stories I remember most are the ones I spent with him and have pictures of, that you’ll see added on this post. Along the way I feel his passion for the outdoors has really spilled over into my life and ignited my passion as well.


Now my year consists of shooting, lane trimming with my three kids, planting late season food plots, moving or putting up new stands, and then spotting and watching the deer grow along with the fields. I spend time teaching my kids to track and read sign so they don't need to rely on a trail cam. We spend a lot of time in the woods with each other and it keeps our bond tight. I'm fortunate to have my own land and am able to hunt in a amazing location. My father, who doesn't hunt, also has land as well and lives within 5 miles of us so I'm thankful and blessed.


That's why I love to mentor. My Location, herd population, and amount of pressure being so low, allows me to help others learn. I've assisted at least 15 people in getting into hunting with proper education and etiquette. I prefer bow hunting over all, though now I have a bum shoulder and I love my crossbow. As my kids grow I look forward to getting more into filming with them and capturing their hunts to be remembered forever. I hope the inspiration I received from my grandfather and the knowledge I'm passing onto my kids will continue on for generations to come.


by Dayton Quaerna
















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