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This was my fourth trip up to the Yukon and I foolishly thought that maybe, just maybe, this time, I might be able to calmly and professionally go about the hunt. Boy, was I wrong!! You just never get used to the majesty, scenery and outright awe of the Yukon. It feels new all over again. The mountains, trees, river and….well, the wildlife.
Especially, the Alaskan Yukon Moose! You just can’t take for granted, or get “used to,” a 1600 lb. animal. As in years past, we ventured up and down the beautiful river, encountered various weather conditions, and put plenty of miles on our Rocky boots. In the end, Keith and I both put moose on the ground….well, actually, we both put our moose in the river.
Which, by the way, created a whole new world of wet and other complications we’ve yet to encounter in the Yukon. It’s like I said at the beginning…you just never “get used to” the Yukon.
If you have been watching the previous 12 MacMillan River Adventures shows, you now know that filming Season 4 was an extremely difficult task for all of us. Early in the adventures, they were difficult for me for reasons, at the time, I didn’t even know. As things became more difficult for me and I had to slow down or I wasn’t able to carry my own weight, it made it more difficult for Shawn. Ultimately, when I wasn’t able to make all of the planned hunting adventures, finishing Season 4 almost became impossible. Only because of the love and help of my family, Shawn, Josh and our producer, Tim, and some medical magic, was I able to complete filming for Season 4 which concludes this week.
I have always been an extremely healthy guy. I am not one to rush to see doctors for every little thing and, in fact, I routinely missed my annual physical because I didn’t see the point when I felt so good. I work out every day with the help of Tony Horton and his P90X workout DVD’s. As the season progressed and I started to get winded quicker and easily fatigued, I wrote it off to the fact that I was approaching my mid-50’s, and this must be normal. When things started getting worse and worse, I put off going to the doctor because it was inconvenient and, probably in large part, because I was afraid of what I might hear. Finally, when things got to the point where I had no options, I did break down and see a doctor. After a bunch of tests, I found out that I had multiple tumors in my lungs and that my lymph nodes were abnormally enlarged. At that point, I had no choice but to call Shawn, who happened to be on a hunt without me, and let him know what was going on.
Although I’ve always appreciated the fact that I have an incredibly loving and supporting wife and children, and several close friends including my best friend, Shawn, a situation like this brings out everyone’s true colors. My wife and family were even more supportive than I could’ve imagined. Shawn, Josh and my close friend and personal assistant, Darrin Tarwater, were all awesome. Shawn and Josh committed to finishing out the season without me if that’s what had to happen, and everyone committed to helping me get through whatever treatment the doctors had in store.
Fortunately, my doctors had all of the answers, by the grace of God, we decided to go back to the Yukon and try to end Season 4 with a moose hunt. What happened on this adventure, the one that you’ll see this week, is nothing short of amazing. I have tears in my eyes as I write this reflecting back on that special trip that occurred last fall. I don’t want to give the episode away, but when you see Shawn and I hug at the end of that show, you will have no doubt how close of friends, nearly like brothers, Shawn Michaels and I have become. I can’t speak for him, but I can tell you there is nothing I wouldn’t do for Shawn, and I can’t imagine my life without Shawn playing a big part in it.
So, how’s Keith feeling now? I can tell you that with the help of my doctors and the grace of God, I am feeling fantastic! As I pen these final lines, I am days away from heading out to start filming Season 5 of Shawn Michaels’ MacMillan River Adventures! All of my recent tests have been perfect, and I suspect when I see my doctor in October, it’ll be the last time I will need to do so.
I spoke with Shawn just a little while ago as we are putting the final details on what will be Season 5 of Shawn Michaels’ MacMillan River Adventures. In the conversation, Shawn said he plans on filming at least another 10 seasons of MRA, and he wouldn’t rule out doing it even longer. I told him if that’s the case, he’d better keep working out if he intends to keep up with his co-host while we’re filming them!
“This show MRA is awesome.not just the hunting, but the chemistry. I have watched Shawn Michaels Wrestle since 1989. He is so entertaining. He and Keith are so great together. Mostly, I love the message. FFFF. Faith Family Friends and Fun. This opened me up to getting my wife n kids to live more of an outdoor lifestyle and get together with more friends. Thank you guys so very much for all the great lessons taught and not just about the hunting lessons which are great. You all are first class God loving good people.”
Great sight-in techniques article. Big fan of the show.
Met you both @ Field & Stream Grand Opening in Cranberry, Pa.
I don’t wear the hat you both signed. That stays on the,”Shelf of Honor.”
Much success to you both you and families. Enjoyed “Squirreling Around” episode.”
Regards, Bill Y