So you’re done turkey hunting or maybe your wrist is sore from setting the hook on all those hog size spawning bass. What’s next? Well you could pull your bow out and hit the 3-D circuit to prepare for that August elk hunt out west. You might spend a few weeks repairing your boat and doing all those little adjustments and improvements you’ve been thinking about. Hey you might even go pull out those shabby duck blinds that have been in the field for three years and do some off-season repairs on those. Or you could do like I do and hit the practice range and get that old golf swing into some type of shape.
For some the off-season is a time for rest and relaxation and for some it is a time of stress. For me the weeks between May and September have not always been filled with slicing drives and five-foot putts for bogey. When my girls were young, it was a time for ice chest full of cold drinks, bream poles and bobbers and lots of laughs. All of us who live for the outdoors may sometimes forget that there are people around us who would love an up close look at our world. It doesn’t have to be a five-hour sit in a frozen treestand or an all day bass fishing class on Toledo Bend. An afternoon trip to a nearby farm pond can be as much fun as any event in the outdoors. My girls have their own lives now that do not revolve around the outdoors, but they still cherish those summer days when I would take them fishing. Memories are where you find them and to this day some of our fondest were made sitting on a bucket, sipping a pop and hauling in some bluegills that were just right for frying. Done at an early age and often, this trips outside can great influence how a kid views the outdoors later in life.
There’s no place better to explain wildlife conservation and the role hunters and fisherman play in the outdoors than when your baiting a hook for a wide-eyed child who thinks you hung the moon. Whether they grow up living to hunt and fish like Dad is not the point or purpose. Just knowing you cared enough to take them along is often all the influence a child needs to make an intelligent decision about wildlife conservation later in life.