Outdoor Memories Last A Lifetime

GON celebrates Fathers Day as a son thanks his father, Lynn Stanford, for a lifetime of hunting memories.

Bubba Lynn Stanford | June 1, 2005

I can remember my first time hunting like it was yesterday.

“Do you want me to shoot him?” my daddy asked as I sat in his lap and watched the spike buck walk along through the creek bottom.

“Yes,” I said,

Right after the shot the buck sped off on his death run. Although my daddy saw the deer fall, I did not. Daddy unloaded the gun — a Marlin .30-30 that he had already purchased for me — and then he climbed down from the permanent stand. After placing the gun on the ground he climbed back up the dogwood tree and carried me down. Once on the ground, I was about to bust with excitement. Daddy reloaded the gun, and then we went to retrieve the deer. Daddy, knowing that I had not seen the deer fall, sent me in the direction it had gone while he stayed back.

When I nearly stumbled over the deer lying in the grass, I wanted to scream, “I found him,” but I knew better. With much enthusiasm and excitement, I went to tell daddy the news.

A .22 rifle, a pocket full of bullets and your favorite hunting partner — that’s how many kids get their start into hunting.

I can honestly say that was my first hunting memory. Many more have followed, and Lord willing there will be many more. I was only four years old on that first hunt, and now nearly 20 years later I still get excited thinking about it.

At age nine, I harvested my first deer, and then at age 11 my first turkey. Every time I’ve been on the lake or in the woods, I have gained a memory that I cherish. I am very fortunate to have a daddy that loves the outdoors, and I am glad he introduced me to it. Hunting and fishing is a big part of my life and always will be because he has molded me into the person I am.

I was born and raised in Putnam County. I was your typical country boy. My friends and I were always into something; most times good and occasionally bad. Girls, trucks, music, sports, hunting and fishing were what we enjoyed. Many of my friends hunted, but I don’t believe any of them enjoyed it as much as I did. Hunting was what they did in their spare time. There were many Friday nights after football games that I could have gone out with them and got into gosh knows what, but instead I would get in bed so I could get up early the next morning and go deer hunting with my daddy. It was one of these Saturday mornings that with much persuasion from my daddy and a bucket of cold water, I stumbled out of bed to be rewarded a few hours later with a beautiful 140-class buck.

My daddy and I have a lot of memories from the Georgia woods. Too many to count. I’ll never forget the time we were hunting on our favorite WMA, Cedar Creek, and daddy shot a gobbler and it fell into a creek. I could not get around too well at the time because I was recovering from knee surgery, but daddy made it to the bird in record time. However, as he got to the bird it found its second wind and went to flopping and kicking. By this time, I had made it to the bank of the creek, and it was a hilarious sight. Daddy was chasing the bird up and down the creek and by the time he caught it he was drenched, and the turkey looked more like a sick buzzard than anything.

Luckily, it was a sunny day and daddy laid his clothes in the sun to dry. With his clothes being half dry and a few hours left to hunt, daddy and I resumed calling. A hour later we were admiring a beautiful longbeard in full strut working his way down a hardwood hillside to our harem of decoys. In just a few minutes we were standing over the gorgeous 2-year-old tom, my first longbeard, and the two-inch diameter sweetgum I failed to see when making the shot. That was definitely a crazy memory. I could go on and on with stories like that.

I have been fortunate enough in my life to have the gifts I have had. By saying gifts I am referring to family, friends, the outdoors, and God, and I hold all of them close to my heart. My mother and sisters have put up with a lot over the years from my daddy and I as far as hunting and fishing goes. There are not many mamas that would let their husbands take their little boy out in the cold and sit in a deerstand at four years old. However, they knew how much it meant to us, and they never bothered us about it and I am thankful.

Growing up hunting WMA land isn’t the easiest way to limit on turkeys, but this father/son team has been quite successful over the years.

Hunting and fishing is nothing to some people, but for me it is everything. I know everyday life, family and your career should be number-one priorities. They are for me, but hunting also ranks high. There are so many young people today who don’t get to experience what I got to, and it’s a shame. They end up taking the wrong road because they have no one to guide them. The saying, “Take your kid hunting so you won’t have to hunt your kid,” is very true.

Bubba Lynn Stanford is hooked on hunting — thanks to his dad. Now, it’s Bubba Lynn’s job to raise his son Colbey into the hunting world.

I am a father now, and I love my son deeply as do most fathers. My son is going to be in the woods at an early age like me. I want him to sit in a deerstand with me and call me daddy. Although my son Colbey is almost a year and a half old, he’s already been through his first set of camouflage, Carhartt overalls and turkey calls. Soon he’ll have his first gun — although it will be a while before he will use it.

I would like to close this in saying I hope someone has gained a memory or remembered an old memory by reading this because I surely have by writing it. Thank God for watching over me and for creating the outdoors that we all take for granted. Thanks to my daddy for introducing me to the outdoors at a early age, thanks to family and friends for putting up with two crazy hunters, my dad and I. Thanks to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for protecting and preserving our outdoors and thanks to GON for such a great publication.

Make plans now to build your own collection of outdoor memories. Before you know it summer will fade into fall, and it’ll be time to chase those big bucks. When that moment arrives, my daddy and I will be at it again.

Become a GON subscriber and enjoy full access to ALL of our content.

New monthly payment option available!


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.