Strange days indeed, John Lennon must have had a glimpse into our today when he wrote those words. Economic recovery, stimulus packages, global warming or is it global cooling I did not get a chance to check with the other media yet today to know what to think. What I do know is that just as predicted by several people I deem as “in the know”, interest in outdoor related activity is and continues on the rise. It seems during these times of what people perceive to be challenge that they start to migrate back to basics, back to their roots and heritage. Perhaps it is an effort to save money and still have something to occupy their time, but I believe that people take comfort in the little nuances that the outdoors provides. The solitude of a quiet misty morning trout stream with a flyrod whipping over the shoulder or watching ambiguous forms take their shape as morning breaks in the woods.
Camaraderie and fellowship close to home at local sporting clubs is a great way to seek balance and not break the bank. Membership and activity at local clubs and parks is higher than in many recent years, and I have yet to talk to someone who was kicking the dirt and complaining about staying close and making a great time afield out of their day. When they look at their kids faces and see how excited they get about being taken fishing, perhaps for the first time in their life, or to shoot target instead of being on autopilot at home with the computer and video games, they are remembering what it was like for them. When money is tight and time is [force] spent at home, the feeling of cabin fever in the middle of the summer is just not something people will embrace and for that they abandon the house and go outdoors.
I think the silver lining in the state of affairs is that families are pulling together, remembering what it is like to connect with nature and the residual affect (benefit) is the furtherance of the future of our hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation. With that come some opportunities and some dangers that should be consulted. The opportunities lie in introducing kids to the outdoors that may not be getting the opportunity. There are many single parent homes near each of us as well as homes where two parents are working four jobs to make ends meet, consuming all of their time and their kids are on autopilot for that reason. An offer to take them along on an outing would probably not only be accepted but greatly appreciated and remembered.
The danger section of the process is the campaigning being done by so many anti groups and their literature that may taint and misguide the folks who were not nurtured in the outdoors and now find themselves looking to it for an outlet. During my editing of the material for this issue I contacted a writer by the name of Dave Smith, who had submitted a contribution piece relative to bear spray versus guns campaigning he is encountering, and we talked rather lengthily about the movement being made in the Wyoming/ Montana region to force hunters to utilize bear spray as opposed to deadly force when a perceived attack is upon them. Dave feels strongly that the anti’s are getting a foothold and being catered to by many of the agencies involved. I encourage you to look over his contribution and hear what he has to say, as this is one issue in a long list to come and we have the opportunity to get involved and educate people in counter when something may be growing against our way of life.
With that, I would like to welcome you to the July 09 issue of the Water and Woods Online Magazine. Whether you are smoldering in the south, wondering where summer is in the north, looking for a day without rain in the east or dodging severe storms of all kinds in the west this issue will have something in it for you, I promise.
Our staff and contributors have again done a great job with brining the outdoors to your fingertips with things like a film dip to make your bow look like a million bucks but costing nowhere near that, a homage paid to a work of history by Winchester, some great advice about selecting a survival knife as well as a tale of terror from a night locked in a local sporting goods store. This line up is sure to please and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did bringing it to you. I really look forward to the next issue as we are working to bring some offerings to you that will be sure to enhance our magazine, and on top of that we will be right at the beginning of the fall hunting season. Looking forward to our next meeting, enjoy the magazine and enjoy your outdoor resources.