Farewell To An Extraordinary Person

There are no words adequate enough to describe how sad the passing of  Bowhunting World Editor Mike Strandlund is.  What tragic, unfortunate news.  My heart goes out to Mikes parents Jean and Zonnie, his children Bradley and Sara, and his sister Kim.  God bless you all.

When Mike was inducted into the Bowhunting Hall of Fame for his literary excellence, I thought maybe I’d be asked to say something at the ceremony we attended.  I wasn’t, but I did put something together just in case.  I later presented my thoughts to him and his family in a little video clip filled with pictures of many of the amazing things he’d done throughout the years that made him the great man we grieve for today. 

Back then seems like just a minute ago.  Nothing has changed, other than his passing.  So today seems like a good day to share those words with others who are feeling the loss of Mike.  It went like this:

 

There are ordinary people who have ordinary lives and ordinary jobs.  And then there are a few extraordinary people, the ones that seem to go their own way and stand apart from the rest… in their views, their day to day lives, and their jobs.  The ones the rest of us aspire to be like.

Mike was one of those people.

From the very beginning, when asked “what do you want to be when you grow up?”  I think Mikel Scott Strandlund knew he was not cut out to be ordinary.

Raised in the country, in a hunting family, he was always encouraged to embrace the outdoors.  And he did.  Off he would go, usually on his own, exploring, dreaming, experiencing nature, sometimes bringing something home, and always thinking about his mother’s words:

“if you practice your writing and you work really hard and you send your stories out, if they are good enough they might be published and you’ll get paid for them.”

He loved nature, he loved hunting, and it ignited something in him deep down .  He grew into a true outdoorsman.

Mike earned his money in college running a trap line.  His first real writing job was as a reporter for the Rice Lake Newspaper, and after that, he relocated to the east coast to write books for the NRA.  Then, we were fortunate enough to have this extraordinary man come back home to Minnesota.

Mike isn’t particularly social.  He’s not a follower, or a joiner, or a person who could be influenced to do something he didn’t believe in.  He prefers spending time in solitude, and over the last decade studying the art of bowhunting.  What he sees, what he feels, and what he communicates back to us, is not just carefully crafted words thanks to college, but a natural extension and expression of his general lifestyle.  Perhaps this is what makes him so remarkable.

He has taken many business risks over the course of time in order to present ideas and information in a truly passionate and inspiring way.  In what he believes is the right way.  Because of his unwavering values, he provides his co-workers the ability to work with the most superior magazines in our market.  His willingness to take the lead, and his extraordinary ability to express himself in words and pictures, gives the readers, the outdoors lovers, a real gift in his writings.

“to thine own self be true.”

“It has to be done because the readers deserve it.”

Mike Strandlund, the editor, the bowhunter, the outdoorsman, the extraordinary person.

 

Happy, happy trails, we will miss you dearly, Mikel. 

And oh, by the way, I still want my Sky Hook Treesteps back–and I still know what tree they are in.  😉

 

 

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