What Every Dad Can Do.

What Every Dad Can Do.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of living out my calling as a speaker, a benefit that fills my heart with purpose on a recurring basis, is that year after year I get to meet men all over America who have incredible stories. Some are stories of tragedy, and some are stories of triumph, yet all of them are stories that have shaped the man’s journey. Today, I’m in Wisconsin. Which I should say is yet another fringe benefit of fulfilling a calling, for I get to see so much of the American landscape, filled with small towns, cool little food dives, and downtown square life that reminds you of a day when life moved with a purer pace. Today I’ll speak to a crowd of hunters. Though I’ve never been to this particular Wisconsin town, I can promise you this: men in this arena will have their stories, too. Stories of tragedy, and stories of triumph. I will meet them tonight, and I can promise you this: there will be a man there, a dad, who has a story to tell me. It never fails, regardless of the town, regardless of the size of the crowd, regardless of the event, that I will encounter at least one man, a dad, who is fully convinced he failed as a father. You can see his broken heart through his lonely eyes. He will tell me bits and pieces of his story, and then he’ll walk away not sure of what to do next but to continue to live with thoughts of what he should have done. That’s my dad, top row, second from the...
Will Primos Swamp Donkey: Better Field Photos

Will Primos Swamp Donkey: Better Field Photos

Will Primos has been a such a mentor and friend to me over the years. Yet this picture can do a lot to help you snap a legendary photo the next time you have a trophy encounter.  This is a buck that Will put on our Record Book Project. An old brute of an 8 pointer.  The strength of this photo is that Will doesn’t get behind the animal and hide the rack. The average hunter tends to get behind the animal and it destroys the photo because you cannot appreciate the antlers. You can click on the photo to see a larger size.  Get out from behind the antlers, and shoot slightly upward, toward the hunter.   Other strengths of this photo: A flash was used to keep from being backlit (greying out your subject’s face from too much light). Photographer shoots image at eye level or slightly up at the subject.   I’ve created a series this summer called Better Field Photos. Check it out here because it will help you think through capturing those rare moments when it call comes together on a hunt.   Be sure to read Your Picture Tells Your Story written by Jason Cruise for Sportsman Channel. A quick yet critical article foundational for capturing memories that last a lifetime. ...
The Ugliest Man I Have Ever Seen

The Ugliest Man I Have Ever Seen

I’ve seen some ugly men in my life. I remember standing about 4 people back from a fella in line at Taco Bell watching, and regretfully, listening, while he got plain nasty with curse words because a lady took too long to fill his son’s order. His 10 year-old son was standing there beside him. That dad was ugly, but he wasn’t the ugliest man I have ever seen. I remember sitting in class one Tuesday morning when a theologically renown seminary professor brutally embarrassed a student simply for raising his hand to ask a question. No kidding. It was that simple. The student didn’t know that the theologian had an unspoken rule where you ask questions in the last 60 seconds of the lecture, so the professor felt the student’s inability to read his professorial mind gave him a license to go on a loud, childish rant about the student’s insensitivity to his lecture. That was really ugly. Then there was the time I was standing in a group of men at a trade show when a legend in the hunting industry within our circle made a pass at a lady who was a sales rep for a gun company. It was pathetic. And ugly. Looking back on it, I think the prize for the ugliest man I have ever seen actually goes to me. I have encountered my ugly side far too many times to count, so I know the prize must go to me. The ugly comes from the ugliest, nastiest trait I can think of that resides in my soul: selfishness. Selfishness has caused me...
A Most Uncommon Marrow

A Most Uncommon Marrow

Who knows why but there are some truths that just stick inside your bones, never to leave again. They guide your thinking from the moment you first encounter them. Such was the case the first time I ever read President Calvin Coolidge’s statement, “Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.” Those words were posted on the wall in my high school biology class, and they have penetrated my marrow ever since. Intelligence was never my gift. I suppose if you added up my lifetime GPA it would be 3.0 at best. People think I’m joking, but I’m not, when they hear me say “I’m living proof you can earn a doctorate on extra credit.” Talent is everywhere. At every turn in life, at every stage of life, in every season of life, I’ve encountered stunningly talented people living hauntingly boring lives. The lazy do not roast any game, but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt. – Proverbs 12:27 The diligent feed on the riches of the hunt not because they are better hunters, but because they are, in the end, warriors who win on the battlefield of the mind. They feed on the bounty of the hunt because the diligent have learned one thing … a man who refuses to quit is incredibly hard to beat.    ...