Erik Carlson's life is going great. He's just passed his Hunter Safety Course, and is scheduled to make his first hunting trip with his best friend Patrick that very weekend. His plans are shattered by the news that his parents, who are Army Reservists, have been unexpectedly called for duty in Iraq. With almost no warning, Erik is shipped off to North Dakota to stay with grandparents he barely knows. Though his grandmother is warm and welcoming, his grandfather, Big Darrell is cold, gruff, and distant. To add to Erik's miseries, the farm, which is miles outside of the nearest small town, doesn't even have cell phone service or an internet connection.