Keep up with all things, outdoors, with Big Billy Kinder...
The fourth Saturday in September each year is, as proclaimed by our esteemed leadership in Washington, D.C. back in 1972, National Hunting and Fishing Day. A day that celebrates several things. Not the least of which is...
NHF Day also celebrates...
We can blame a lot of things, not the least of which is technology advancement in the past 20 years...Instant entertainment right at our fingertips that has stolen a whole generation’s attention. Virtual whatever, replacing actual hands on skills from field to table. We can blame the usual suspects like lack of public hunting property, high cost of carrying out our hunting traditions (hunting trip related expenses rose 15% 2011-2016) and a shamefully high divorce rate. Yes all of these factors contribute to the decline and decay of wonderful heritage and tradition, but ultimately, we must horseshoe the pointing finger back around to ourselves. No matter how many dollars we spent at the DU banquet, or how many bass baits we bought last year, or contributions to great conservation efforts, if we didn’t spend at least one day taking and teaching someone new, we failed ourselves and drove a nail in the American hunters coffin.
I like the leadership that we now see from U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke. He is part of our heritage; he gets it and he’s working to make things easier for the next bunch coming along. He's attacking the Obama administration’s senseless, science-less attack on lead ammunition by punching holes thru the regulations that prevent us all from accessing many of OUR public lands. OURS! We can sit comfortably in our warm deer camps, enjoying God's blessings, creation and protein (keeping it to ourselves and grinning in our self satisfying little bubble), or we can actually do something to impact our grandkid's hunting and fishing opportunities.
Spend the money! Guided trips, product, essentials to hunting and fishing. It keeps the wild places wild when you do. Teach someone! It won’t take long. They will love it. You will too, and hopefully you will instill in them the desire to teach others as they move down life’s road. Vote! Educate yourself responsibly, and let's “drain the swamp”, as a famous billionaire has said, of those that hate the fact that you and I follow God's plan to be the head of the animal kingdom.
Enjoy YOUR National Hunting and Fishing Day! We are still the strongest voice and best friend that the wild things and places in America will ever know.
*U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Survey Preliminary Findings
September 21, 2017
Work is a four letter word. It would be real easy to place the word work in the same category as other four letter words not fit to be uttered before decent folk. Work gets in the way of important stuff. Work forces us to think of pushing the lawn mower instead of pulling crappie from late summer brush piles. Work brings forth reluctant hours of computer screens instead of a view from a pop up blind, bow in hand. Work is something Tom Sawyer thought his way out of when it was time to paint the fence. Tom had the mighty Mississippi river in mind, thoughts of adventure and big catfish securely hooked on the business end of a stiff cane fishing pole. He, while working on the fence schemed up a plan, and his friends, none of which made a run at valedictorian I believe, did the white washing of the fence for him while he was off tending to rabbits and crappie and other important matters. Tom had convinced his friends that they would find no greater pleasure on that beautiful Saturday than he would have slapping a new coat of paint on the old fence. They believed him and asked if they could have some of that fun. You bet!
I think someone pulled this same stunt on my friend, Jim Zumbo, the famed outdoorsman many years ago. Jim is obsessed with cutting and stacking firewood. Listen to him talk about this out of control addiction, and you’ll see him beam like a kid holding a paper with a passing grade. Do they still use paper in school? He can tell you to the rick/cord/square footage or log exactly what he has stored up. You know that bar-b-que place that you pass all the time...the one with a small forest of cut wood stacked on the 3 acres in back...Jim's backyard right there.
Work many times involves long slow commutes through dense traffic and demented drivers that are real eager to display a one count with the free hand, instead of long slow drives down a two track road and rolling the combination lock in the headlights. Hondo Crouch is famous because he bought a little Texas hill country town and invited musician Jerry Jeff Walker and friends to come visit. Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings sang about Hondo’s little Luckenbach, and the rest is history. Hondo talked those guitar pickers into white washing his fence. It was Hondo that coined the phrase, amongst many others, that “havin fun is hard work sometimes.” I think of that phrase often while filling and maintaining feeders, yoyo’ing the weeds to cut down the wind pics on the trail cameras, setting and anchoring blinds, cutting pickup sized drive thrus in the harsh vines that block all of humanity from that special spot back yonder, etc etc.
I guess most of us would make an even swap of work for a smooth rocker in a brushed up and shaded boathouse, dipping jigs for delicious fillets, but it just wouldn’t work. First reason is: The Good Lord is a big fan of work. He, Himself, created work, and then after Adam and Eve ate the bad apple that day at the farmer's market of all farmer's markets, God told us to get to work. It’s part of His plan, therefore no other plan will work, just won’t. Second reason is: We couldn’t afford the rocking chair, much less that nice boat house. So with that thought, I’ll shut down this laptop now at five am, fill the truck with tools and diesel and head for the pasture. I’ve got two full days of work ahead in prep for opening day. But, YOU will find no more pleasure on this beautiful day than I will! Join me?
September 15, 2017