The Last Hunt of the Season
A Rememberance
by John Horn

I was out at my Father-in-laws house the other day and saw his photo in an article,
on the refrigerator, it was titled “The Last Hunt of the Season.” Strange, I
thought, why would you have an article about the last day of the season, but there
it was. Ronald Schiewe (my Father-in-law) and friends with guns, dogs and smiles on
their faces. They were all dressed in warm clothes looking like they had just snuck
the last piece of pie from their mom’s kitchen.

Good for them, I thought, its got to be what life’s all about. Good friends and good
times, making memories. Ron grew up over by Preston Kansas. His folks were farmers
and as far as I can tell his people were farmers as far back as you can go. He
graduated in the last class out of Preston High School, went to Ft. Hays State and
then off to the Navy to be a Nuclear Reactor Operator on a submarine. He married his
college sweetheart and sailed the seas for 6 years. Wow, that must have been
exciting for a Kansas farm boy.

When he got back he picked up where he left off, helping his Dad on the farm over by
Preston. They lived for fishing, hunting and farming. I remember every year they
would celebrate together with a drink. Celebrate making a go of the family farm.
Ron’s Dad, Leonard, would take his drink and say “We did it! We did it again!”

I don’t think he had any illusions it would last, he seemed to do his best to
prepare his three girls for success outside of farming. He made sure they all
graduated college and that they were happy.

I could go on about how Ron was good at what he did, he was on the Co-op board, the
Farm Bureau board and won conservationist of the year twice, but this is about
hunting. You see I grew up on a farm too in Northwest Oklahoma, I loved to fish and
hunt, but I went to the city and got caught up in business and forgot how important
that was. I forgot about making memories with good friends and trudging through the
cold feeling what it was to be alive. Until, the last hunt of the season.

There he was laughing, smiling at me with his dogs, Dakota and Blue. He looked out
from the picture and called me to come in. I wish I was there, I thought to myself.
I used to tell him I didn’t hunt with him because too many son-in-laws disappear
that way. He knew I was just kidding, but now its too late.

Shortly after the last hunt of the season, Ron got sick. He was down for over a
week, and then one day when it looked like he was getting better, he fell in the
bathroom. He hit his head and died a couple of days later. He was a young man who
loved what he did, helped who he could and lived for the last hunt of the season.