Recently I was talking with a younger upland hunter about boots. I was looking for an all leather boot that was not to heavy and not a “hiking” style boot. I have a thing for a good quality leather boot. His question was why all leather? There are many better options in modern boots. That question made me think about my choices. Well I tried to explain to the young man that’s it’s about time travel. Time travel back to a time when things were simpler, better, and I was happy.
You see I still treat my boots with Bear Grease, as his eyes rolled back into his head. My father and I used to set in the basement, of our Michigan home, and get our stuff ready for season. I loved those nights. He would use my mothers hair dryer to heat the boots up, rub them down with bear grease, and use the dryer to melt it into the leather. The smell of warm leather and hot bear grease takes me back to a time when he was alive and we were making memories. The act, and smell, of treating my boots stirs memories that would otherwise be forgotten. I can hear Elvis on the record player, see our GSP Sam laying in front of the fireplace, and I can feel the excitement of the upcoming season.
I guess that getting old means getting nostalgic. It doesn’t mean I frown on new ideas and technology. It means I don’t need it so be happy. To many times today we focus on the limits of birds. Somehow forgetting the preparation, the drive, the weather, and the dogs. So while most people are looking for the next best thing, I am traveling through time with my old leather boots and hot bear grease.