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!
Friday, August 15, 2014
Over the years she's killed turkeys and deer and caught bunches of fish. In high school she hit a bit of a stretch where she was busy with sports, a major sports injury and school activities so hunting took a back seat. But she still loved to fish and summer vacations then and now during college were a good time to do it. We fished for walleye, crappie, wipers, white bass and channel catfish and we both enjoyed our time together as she grew up.
We haven't fished together too much this summer as Ashley was on a mission trip to Zimbabwe for two weeks earlier in the summer and she's been working a lot, too. So when she had a day off earlier this week she was game for a fishing trip and we headed out bright and early at 5:30 a.m.
Our goal was channel catfish and this summer had been good so our hopes were high. The morning was gorgeous, remarkably cool at 58 degrees and winds were light as we launched my boat at 6:30 a.m. We got anchored up and started to chum and it didn't take long to figure out it might be a pretty good day as Ashley hooked up with a 2-pounder we pitched back. The action heated up and we both started catching fish. I ended up fishing with only one pole as it seemed like every time I'd get both of mine situated Ashley had another fish and I'd have to reel up and get the net.
"That's lame," she said of their excuse to bypass the 5 a.m. wake-up call. "That's what naps are for!"
The wind kicked and pushed me off our spot a bit and our success dwindled. I re-anchored a couple times and finally got back to the honey hole and we were doing well once again. Ashley had the hot hand and not only caught the first fish of the day, she had the biggest at just over 7 pounds. Once I tallied 18 fish (the limit is 10 each) on the clicker we just released all fish and proceeded to simply have fun.
We were about ready to leave when Ashley hung a big ol' carp. I told her we couldn't end on that one so we gave it another 5 minutes. It didn't take that long and Ashley had her last channel catfish of the summer and it weighed just over 5 pounds so we pitched it in the livewell and called it a wonderful morning about 10 a.m.
I've heard that life is like a roll of toilet paper and the closer you get to the end the faster it goes. As I age it's particularly true and I think it's exaggerated when you have kids as they, too, grow up fast. Again, it seemed like just the other day when I took her to her first year of college but 3 years flew by and I dropped her and her stuff off yesterday for her Senior year. It's not likely she'll be home next summer as her first "real" job will hopefully be waiting when she graduates.