Ian McMurchy Has Passed Away!

Len Backus

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This is such a sad day for me.

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Ian passed away last night at age 64 from complications of an illness that was affecting him for most of this year. He contracted the flu last January. Shortly after he was diagnosed with a "syndrome" that has a 2 foot long name which I do not know. It affected his kidneys, liver and his blood...including the immune system. He was in and out of the hospital several times this year.

He was back in the hospital this week but doing better on Thursday, hoping to go home today, Saturday. Suddenly he contracted pneumonia yesterday and died last night at 5PM.

He was quite active this year on and off when feeling well and he went hunting in Africa twice...the second time for cape buffalo...his dream.

Ian was a bear specialist with the Saskatchewan Fish and Game Department, retiring about 7 years ago. His articles and photos were published in many national magazines. He was a very modest man. It was only years after I came to know him that he mentioned his outstanding deer photos had made the covers over 30 times.

He was a charter member of LRH when I started this site in 2001. As such he was part of a small handful who were responsible for our earliest success. I met him in person only once but feel I knew him well. We shared emailed photos of our grandchildren, swapping stories about family. He was a very generous man with a huge smile always present. I really regret I never spent the time and energy to travel to his home in Canada and shoot or hunt with him.

When I started publishing articles on this site in 2007, he generously offered me about 8 of his articles that had previously been seen in national magazines. A couple months ago (probably when he was feeling better for a short while) he sent me more which I will be publishing on LRH over the next few months.

He was a big man with a huge heart. I will miss him!
 
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Shawn Carlock

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I talked with Ian several times on the phone over the last couple of years and finally got to meet him at the SHOT show last year, he always seemed like really great guy. I wonder if there is something the site members could do for the family?
 

Len Backus

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My first thought is to provide a very long thread (this one) with many heartfelt comments in tribute to a great guy.
 

WildcatB

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Jan 27, 2008
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Elko, NV
Very sad indeed. I've read all his articles here and really appreciated him openly sharing his knowledge.

He clearly lived a great life - one worth celebrating.


Paul
 

Coyboy

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Jan 30, 2005
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My deepest sympathy goes out to all his familly and friends, the long range community has lost a great friend and spokesman. I will miss his great articles.
 

ss7mm

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Jun 11, 2005
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3,706
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Yakima, Washington
We've lost one of the really good guys and he will be missed immensely.

I know that in his "new home" that he is probably already planning his next hunt. I wish him well up there where the seasons never end and the game is plentiful.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.
 

Brown Dog

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Sep 26, 2003
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Blighty
Awful Awful News.

Didn't know Ian in person, but we've often exchanged emails and photos in the past; my daughters are of a similar age to his grand daughter. I felt perhaps a slightly stronger connection to him than one might normally with e-friends because, years ago, I lived for 2 years in a neighbouring Prairie Province and we had talked of meeting up if I ever managed to get back out to visit Canada. Even as an e-pal, Ian was enormously generous to me on several occasions. He just struck me as a super, honest and great fellow.

This news catches me just as I was thinking that we hadn't corresponded for some time and to send him a Christmas email. Very upsetting.

I can't put it any better than one of the earlier posts:

He clearly lived a great life - one worth celebrating.
 
9

985

Guest
I was allways taken by Ian's Genuiness as well as his mild manner. I will miss him and offer my condolences to his Family.
 

jmden

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Nov 2, 2003
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Washington State
He will be greatly missed on this site let alone elsewhere! My sympathies to his family and friends during this trying time. They, like we, have all been blessed by Ian.
 

britz

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MN
I have always enjoyed reading his articles, always informative and entertaining. My thoughts and prayers go to him and his family.
 

Sask Hunter

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Sep 11, 2008
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Location
Regina
My wife and I met Ian about 5 yrs ago here in Regina. He spent endless amounts of time with my wife (as she was a new shooter and hunter) teaching her all he could. He requested for her and I numerous times to join him when he was shooting pictures of his long range shooting lessons...as he never had many women to photo while shooting for his books, however we always seened to have conflicting schedules...now we won't have the chance...

I just had a Tims coffee with him last month on one of his better days, he always had time for a friend. We spoke in great length about his hunts, his work and his passion with muzzle loaders...he spoke passionately about the Alaskan and Bear Alley, he spoke about the Buffalo and the smell of the herd and feeling in his stomach...his articles were written with the same passion...

Ian was the most soft spoken, accomplished man in his field, he will be sorely missed.

In early Sept. I bought a Prohunter and was having troubles. I gave Ian a call, within minutes we had it figured out and within days it was ready for my Moose hunt later in Sept. In Oct Ian called to see how the hunt went, how Joyce did with her shooting , how our daughter Madison was doing (as she took to shooting the ML's off the bench with him), how the rifle was doing, etc. That was Ian. What a man...!

I have a few stories...a few years ago we were practicing with our ML's (Omega and Traditions Pursuit Pro XLT) and group testing some bullets...we got to talking and he noticed we were shooting Barnes Spitfires, he said "you like em? I said, " yeah they open 100% of the time and work perfectly"...sigh, he agreed and said "I have about 500 Barnes Spitfires at the house, but I am testing the shock waves right now, I should probably get rid of the competition..." lol. "How about I call you later and you can have em?"...at 7:00 pm that night the phone rang and guess who it was? Yes, it was Ian, that night we spent another 2 hours talking about anything and everything...I did not know like others did but knew him well enough to call him a friend and I will miss him greatly...oh yes the Spitfires he gave me took 2 whitetail bucks (2007) and 2 Mule deer does (2008)...he always made sure he had the best he could afford...and ALWAYS shared his wealth of everything in his life...

We will miss you Ian, you are a great friend and even better person, we were better for knowing you...thank you for all you have done...


Lee and Joyce Hart
Regina SK
 
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ICANHITHIMMAN

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Jan 31, 2008
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SOCIALIST CONTROLLED TERRITORY OF NEW YORK
Well I did not know him sounds like a good man. I did read his articals and learned from them.

If you guys that did know him wanted to do something for his family why not build a rifle and auction it off and give his family the money. I have seen this done for a lot of diffrent reasons.

The parts could all be donated by site members and I am sure one of the smiths here will do the work. Im sure we all have some parts laying around.
 
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