Wow, what a late winter it’s been, a real rollercoaster ride of weather across the country. Extremely nontraditional weather patterns in many regions with heavy snow, heavy rain and high wind. If you’re experience has been like mine, it involved shoveling several feet of global warming over the past two months. The rivers are running high and many places have come back from a serious drought because of it. Soon the spring trout seasons will be underway and all of this extra precipitation will be a welcome sight.
Growing up, this time of year was probably the most dangerous for a youngster who loved the outdoors. It was a transitional time between the hunting season and the fishing season of the Northeast, a time when idle hands and idle minds could get into trouble no matter what the geography. A mixture of boredom, cabin fever and pent up energy could lead to most any outcome the adolescent mind could conceive. Perhaps if you’re reading this and have seen some less than usual good behavior in your own young, otherwise positively energized and “good”, kids it may start to answer a few questions.
Keeping young people engaged in the things that will mold them into better adults, better outdoorsmen and women and out of the police station is an important responsibility and challenge that we as adults face. Spring is indeed a time of renewed birth in the wild, a great time to occupy sedentary time with a walk in the woods. Maybe a shed hunting trip or just a walk in the evening or on a weekend day with your son or daughter to look at nature together would open a floodgate of conversation not only about the outdoors, but other things in their lives. Perhaps more importantly, the opportunity to teach them about what is happening around them during this transitional time when so much is visible and undisturbed. You have so much to talk about, listen to and take in together when you have been spending long hours in the house with darkness occupying more of the day than daylight. The smell of spring will be invigorating and the feeling of being unleashed from a cage will be hard to miss.
The young of most species will be being born or reared during these next several weeks, and this lends itself to endless educational opportunities. The psychological effect of seeing the young being taught to survive really does impact young minds and makes your own rearing techniques make a little more sense to them. There will also be the evidence of nature’s rath upon the weak or injured. Another great time to reflect on life and impart appreciation for the value of life and the things you have, as well as the flip side, the life you could be facing. This alone will impact a young mind to see both sides of life, and what better narrator of the scene could you have for your child than your own voice, a voice and guidance they will ultimately someday miss and have to become themselves.
Don’t overlook the kid with the single parent or of the parent who has a child that loves to be outdoors but the parents simply don’t have the time or knowledge to impart that you do. Encourage your youngster to bring a friend, after all, the friend would likely be the one sitting on the bench at the police department with them when you get there to pick them up. Which environment would you rather spend time in with them?
Welcome to Spring and the March edition of the magazine. We have a real mixed bag this issue, with some excellent straight up turkey calling techniques to talking turkey “ambush style”. We have a mystery musky quandary, a story about getting drafted when you’re already enlisted, a survival kit upgrade, a cool little pocket gun suggestion, a painstakingly meticulous recurve bow manufacturer highlight and an equipment review for shooters.
I would also like to thank Hazel Freeman for contributing a fly fishing piece about fishing Earnest Hemmingway’s prized St. Mary’s Rapids. Hazel offers some excellent advice and helps you save a little time and aggravation by giving you a heads up to fishing the area.
As always, it was fun to put it all together again and we hope you enjoy the fruits of the labor.