The outdoors has special meaning to me. I caught my first fish at age 4 and shot my first duck at age 9. Nearly four decades later I still get excited when I get to spend any time outdoors. A lot has changed during that time but the anticipation and experiences are still similar and just as exciting. It’s a great place to be....Read More
These days I enjoy many different types of hunting. I’m an avid, some might say rabid, waterfowler. I love to bowhunt and have traveled the country doing so for various big game species, although I’m fairly content with Kansas whitetails and turkeys now. And when it’s not hunting season I’m usually fishing. I love to fish for walleye, crappie and channel catfish. I’m at home on the front of my boat on a big reservoir or wading a small Flint Hills stream. It’s all good.
Throw in a recent bout with the trapping bug and decades of camping with family and friends and it’s obvious I have an addiction for the outdoors.
Many of my most memorable outdoor experiences in recent years have centered on those with my children. My 18-year-old daughter and twin 12-year-old boys have been a major part of my outings. Watching their eyes light up as they realize the wonders of Mother Nature and her bounty likely has even more meaning than my own personal satisfaction. Spending quality time with them outdoors carries significant and substantial meaning, no matter what we’re doing.
In this Blog I’ll attempt to relay some of the enjoyment and satisfaction I get from being outdoors. Topics covered will be broad in scope and run the gamut. It’s all fair game. If you can sit at your computer and read a particular entry and it stirs you to try it, or helps make your experience more enjoyable, I will be pleased. And if it does nothing more than make you smile or laugh that too, will please me. The outdoors is truly a great place to be!
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
My boys have had similar experiences growing up, although I keep much closer tabs on their whereabouts than my parents did me. I tend to worry about them getting hurt or getting into a bad predicament and I'm much more protective. I've tried to turn loose as they've gotten older and let them grow up and do things on their own. But hard as I try I still want to help them out along the way.
The next morning after we returned from an enjoyable, although soggy squirrel hunt the boys were anxious to check the trotline. I gave them instructions, a pair of pliers and a tub and sent them off into the lake with their life jackets securely fastened. I watched as they checked many empty hooks until they got to deeper water. Three nice channel catfish flopped and splashed as the boys relayed their success to those of us on shore with hollers and laughter. It took them a while to get one of the fish off but between the three of them they finally managed to get him unhooked and into the tub.
They brought the tub to shore, proud of their catch and ready to show it off to sisters, parents and cousins. After a couple photos the fish were released back into the lake. They asked if they should rebait the hooks as they were all bare and I told them they weren't likely to catch anything during the day with the boat traffic and their swimming.
I wouldn't have thought it would work but kids don't know any better. And sometimes you just have to back up and let them try as sooner or later they grow up and discover things for themselves. If they fail, they still learn. If they succeed, they just might discover they can catch a nice catfish on a glob of mud, too.