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Dying Man’s Wish, an Elk Hunt with His Son, Almost Didn’t Happen

dying man elk hunt
Faith in the Field

35-year-old Joshua Nauta is dying of brain cancer. Doctors say he has about 4 months to live. His dying wish was to go on an elk hunt with his 6-year-old son. The problem was that he doesn’t have an elk tag.

Joshua and his brother grew up hunting since they were kids, but Joshua had never been lucky enough to tag an elk. He wanted to share the experience of an elk hunt with his son before losing his life to cancer. 

After hearing the story, one of the top hunting ranches, the Pocket Ranch in Joseph, Oregon, offered to give Joshua their landowner preference tag for free. According to radio talk host and avid hunter, Lars Larson, Joshua just needed the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) to approve the transfer of the tag.


The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said no. They informed Joshua the deadline had passed and they would not transfer the tag. Dr. Bud Pierce, Joshua’s oncologist and the Republican candidate for Oregon Governer, offered to write a letter to ODFW confirming Joshua’s condition. Dr. Pierces’s offer did not sway the agency decision.

ODFW was standing firm in their decision until radio talk host Lars Larson shared the story on his widely popular talk show. Shortly after an on-air interview between Lars and Joshua’s brother, ODFW announced that they would approve the tag transfer!

Since the initial story hit the radio airways and social media, Lars Larson announced on his radio show that Joshua was able to tag an incredible bull with his son at his side. That’s them in the picture above.

Congratulations, Joshua. All the best you and your family.


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Dying Man’s Wish, an Elk Hunt with His Son, Almost Didn’t Happen