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I Leave my Legacy to Outdoorsmen
I'm getting older in my years and I want to let anyone who is willing to listen, know a little bit about myself and my love of the outdoors. I used to have a friend who made the statement that,"He'd rather fish, than eat". I have adopted his philosophy as my own, over the years, and I do love to eat a lot. When I was small, I saw fishing as a trip to heaven and tried to go there as often as I could. I also knew that only good kids got to go to heaven, and I really tried to be a good boy, as much as a kid could be, and at times I believed that God allowed me to fudge a little bit, once in a while. My fishing was with a cane pole back in the old days and as I got older, I moved up to a rod and reel. The next thing you know, I had a king's ransom worth of fishing gear, including three tackle boxes, five rods and a mountain of fishing lures of all types and applications.
I spent more time in the outdoors than most kids that I knew. The sun and I were great friends, and I sported enough sun burn to prove my case. I loved wild life and could name almost every kind of wild bird and mammal that left pills or mounds of poop in all of the outdoors. I've had many a fishing trip interrupted by owls, Red winged black birds and mocking birds in many locations all over the southern United States. To me, these were happy interruptions, and I was more than glad to interact with the winged critters. A variety of musk rats, beaver, bob cats, cougars, bears, and a few wildly behaving squirrels, have all played a big part in my trips into the wild parts of the outdoors. Most were viewed at a safe distance, because I did value my own personal limbs and digits. I have fished and hunted in weather not fit for ducks, and weather fit for ducks. I have walked in snow and ice and mud up to my knees. I have battled a variety of water snakes, including cotton mouth moccasins and a few coral snakes. I have been bitten by some of the biggest mosquitoes and fattest red bugs the south can allow, and lately, the western part of the country, as well. I've been sun baked and wind chapped with the best of them. I have braved the worst lightning and thunder storms and once, even a tornado, while out fishing. My fingers have been frost bitten and my feet have felt like the ice on which i walked on many a cold winter's day, while out hunting, and a few foolish trips on a fishing pond. In the name of fishing and hunting, I have endured as much as Admiral Byrd did on his trips to the Pole.
I can say that I never have lost a limb, but have come mighty close, involving an outboard motor. I have camped out in frigid climes and rainy weather, that practically floated our tent away in a torrent. I have even camped out in a big tree house and been bitten by fire ants in my pants. I have dodged red foxes and bob cats that jumped right over my very head, as I was out tracking them with a bow and arrow. I have shot at and missed a total of four deer with my compound bow and actually glad that I had missed. I have fed my family with squirrels , rabbits, dove, and venison over my years as a hunter, and proud that I was able to do it. I have seen a few strange sights like a big foot or two and even a few UFOs, while out in the woods, as I hunted and fished. I have not missed very many experiences, that anyone who is an outdoor enthusiast would have been privileged to have. I would not take all the gold in China for getting to enjoy the outdoors that I have been able to experience, over my sixty-plus years on this earth.
To you, fellow sportsmen and women, I leave you my experiences and wishes, that you too, will have some of the greatest times of your life, as have I, in your trips out into the wilds of America. It has saved many a kid from getting into a lot more trouble than otherwise they may have been exposed to, and given many exciting and pleasurable moments to me. I have been truly blessed in my getting to have the privilege, and I hope that all who seek it, will get the most from it and all that they wish to enjoy. There are many public lakes and hunting preserves scattered through out the country, and all a person has to do is go to a sporting goods store and get hunting and fishing publications, that tell of these in their state and local areas. Public camping facilities are common through out all fifty states and allow some great outdoor experiences for the whole family. Happy outdoors to all, and may our Lord bless and keep you and yours.