Hank Parker Still Honors 25-Year-Old Pact That He Made With Dale Earnhardt To Not Visit Hunting Ranch Without Him: “I Left A Truck, I Left Deer Stands”

Dale Earnhardt and Hank Parker
Hank Parker

We’ll soon reach the 25-year-anniversary of Dale Earnhardt’s passing in the next couple of years, and as sad as the situation still is, it’s nice to see that he’s still being kept alive through stories from his friends.

A lot of those anecdotes are being shared through the Dale Jr. Download, which is a podcast that former NASCAR driver and son of Earnhardt records and puts out for racing fans to listen to. Anecdotes about Dale Sr. are always coming up on the podcast, and a recent episode was actually full of emotional stories that had Dale Jr. on the edge of tears.

Hank Parker, a world-renowned professional fisherman and close friend of Dale Sr., was the guest on the most recent episode of the Dale Jr. Download. Something that Parker said that really grabbed at Dale Jr’s heartstrings was a story about how Dale Sr. admitted that he was having trouble conveying his love to Dale Jr.

Parker also got into a pretty remarkable story that shows just how great of friends he and Earnhardt were, and how much a handshake can be worth between two people that truly care for one another.

The good friend of Earnhardt described that the two of them hunted together quite often, and even signed onto a deer lease in Texas.

About this time last year, Hank shared this picture of them two hunting on their ranch in Texas:

Parker then got into the story of the pact that went down between them one night as they sat at the deer camp by the fire:

“We got a deer lease in Texas together, it was right out of Cotulla, Texas. He and I had that ranch from 1986 until he passed away. And two months before he died, he and I sat by a campfire.

We did a handshake deal that I would never go back to the ranch without him, and he would never go back without me. So I left a truck, I left deer stands…

As far as I know, he left an old suburban at the Cotulla airport, and 15 years after his death, Gene Naquin asked me one day ‘is anybody ever going to come get that old suburban?’

I said ‘probably not.’ We left it. Yeah, never went back.”

What a testament to the friendship between Parker and Earnhardt.

A deal is a deal, and Parker never even second-guessed leaving his belonging at the farm. He made a pact with his best friend, and once Earnhardt wasn’t there to hunt on the deer lease, Parker ceased going to the farm, as he agreed.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. clearly appreciated Parker holding up his end of the deal with his dad, and even sent out an appreciative post saying:

“Just an awesome story.”

Damn right.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock