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

Thursday, January 14, 2016


As we roll into 2016 it's fun to look back at what happened in 2015 in my outdoor world.  It was all good in a lot of great ways and those memories will last a lifetime.  I can sit, sometimes for minutes, and just scroll through the gallery on my phone.  I can recall the time and place easily and nearly all of those photos bring a smile to my face.

Only one made me wince and that was a bleeding finger, cut by a rogue (or more accurately my own carelessness) broadhead as I messed with it one day in a treestand.  Even that had a happy ending as that same stand produced a nice buck for me just a few days later.  In addition, there were several other highlights in 2015 that come to mind. 

Father's Day found one of my twin boys, Cody, and my daughter, Ashley, and I fishing for channel catfish.  Fishing was excellent and their company was a better gift than any funky tie or smelly cologne.  Cody is just over a year away from attending college and Ashley graduated from college and hit the real world running in 2015.  As I shot a few photos I felt fortunate to spend time with my kids on a day dedicated to Dad's and I was indeed a proud one.  It was also a bit sad, too, as I knew these days would likely get fewer over time.

Another trip that stood out was a pheasant hunt near Dodge City just before Thanksgiving.  I grew up hunting upland birds most weekends but switched gears later in life to chasing waterfowl and bowhunting.  This hunt found me and several friends traipsing some of the most beautiful upland bird habitat in the state.  Shots were plentiful and the action steady with plenty of birds flushed and bagged.  It took me back to a time several decades ago when those same sights, sounds and smells were shared with other friends that I've lost touch with over time but still think about on occasion.

And the icing on the tasty 2015 cake likely took place in mid-December on a hunt where I was merely an observer.  Cody had been drawn for a special youth deer hunting opportunity and the day was indeed special and truly memorable.  The morning yielded a few sightings of several does and a distant buck.  The highlight of sunrise was watching a coyote mousing right in front of us for minutes.  I'm surprised he didn't hear us as we'd laugh out loud every time he jumped straight up in the air and came down with all four feet firmly planted, but never successful.  He was persistent.  After a quick lunch break we were back in the blind and the action started shortly thereafter.  Several does both near and far were already feeding.  A HUGE buck stepped into view and started nosing a doe in front of our blind only 110 yards away.  A few minutes later Cody's shot found it's mark and after a short track we found his deer.  It was indeed the buck of his lifetime and mine.

There were dozens of other trips hunting, fishing, camping and trapping with good friends and family in 2015.  I enjoyed them all and look forward to more just like it in 2016.  Here's hoping you make time for your own outdoor experiences this season and the next.