The Great Outdoors
by Larry Whiteley
TIME FOR TAXES
As you fill out your tax returns this month or pay to have them done, I thought you might like to know where some of your hard-earned dollars go when the government gets them from you.
$384,989 of our tax dollars was spent on a research grant to study the reproductive anatomy of ducks. $580,946 of our tax dollars was spent on tracking the eye movement and sexual habits of female jumping spiders. Alaska’s Denali National Park is home to a small rustic outhouse at the beginning of a hiking trail that was built with $99,000 of our tax dollars. $325,525 of our tax dollars was spent on proving something none of us men were even questioning – couples are happier when the woman calms down after an argument. No, I am not making any of this up and believe me there are a lot more examples than these.
You can, as an American citizen, exercise your option to refuse to file a tax return. Then you could dream about spending your money on crappie fishing trips while you’re in Leavenworth prison for 5-to-7 years. That’s something to think about while you work on your tax return.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
“The taxpayer is someone who works for the federal government but doesn’t have to take the civil service examination.” ~ President Ronald Reagan
Nature is often seen as something we can escape to when life is hard. The reality is that the nature that surrounds you while you are out catching crappie or trying to call in a gobbler is far more meaningful and far more valuable that the money that we chase and obsess over. If we appreciated nature the way we love money and possessions, our lives might be a whole lot more peaceful and beautiful.
FISHING SHOULD BE FUN
Have you ever wondered why some fishermen catch more fish than others? It’s because they seem to pay careful attention to what they are doing and what is going on around them while fishing. That alone will help make you a much better fisherman. Your degree of alertness, powers of observation and confidence level all determine the level you will reach as a serious angler. If you persist in worrying while on the water about what happened at work or the yard needs mowing or the things you have to do next week, you might as well load up and pick another day to fish. Fishing should be fun and you should be out there enjoying yourself.
TAKE A KID FISHING
If you’re going to take a kid fishing for the first time this year, remember that the size of the fish isn’t as important to them as it is you. They just want to catch fish and if they don’t you may never be able to get them out fishing with you again. Take them where you know they can catch a lot of bluegill or bullhead catfish. Both are usually abundant and bite easily.
Crappie fishing at the right time and in the right situation can also be a lot of fun for kids. They will really enjoy it if they can see the fish on your electronics and watch them coming to the bait. You will really have them hooked if they not only catch fish, but if you fry them up at home and they eat their catch. If that happens, you will have a crappie fishing buddy for life.