THE GREAT OUTDOORS
NATIVE AMERICAN WISDOM
By Larry Whiteley
Native Americans were the first conservationists. They didn’t waste any part of the game they hunted and they gave thanks to the Great Spirit when they killed an animal to feed their families. They didn’t pollute the streams or the land. They taught their children to enjoy everything in nature around them.
I enjoy Native American sayings and the wisdom in their words that we could all do well to remember today. Here’s a Cherokee story about an old chief teaching his grandson about life – “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One wolf is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt and ego. The other wolf is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. The same fight is going on inside you my grandson and inside all people.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee chief simply replied, “The one you feed!”
FINDING SHED ANTLERS
Finding shed antlers in your hunting area in February and March can tell you a great deal about the number and quality of bucks you are likely to see during next hunting season. Look for them where deer are feeding, around water and where they have to cross fences or other obstacles. Brushy ravines are also a good place to look.
There’s something really special about finding deer sheds. Once you get out there and do it, you’ll be out there every year looking for them.
MORE WEIRD GAME LAW’S
Alaska has lots of hunting and fishing laws already in place, but only one native reptile. The garter snake, therefore, is classified as a game animal. All Alaskan amphibians, meanwhile, are by definition “fish,” even when they live on land. To take a toad from Juneau to Fairbanks requires an Alaskan Fish Transport Permit.
Not to be outdone in the mixing-up-your-vertebrate’s category, Louisiana law declares that no alligator skin may be sold without a Fur Buyer’s License.
A GREAT TIME TO PLAN A FISHING VACATION
To help get you through the long February days why not start planning this year’s fishing vacation?
Of course, we strongly suggest you check out the CrappieNOW! “Destination” section to get some ideas.
If you only have a week for your trip, resist the lure of faraway places unless you’re flying. Select a site that can be reached in one or two day’s and you’ll be more likely to return rested instead of exhausted.
The first step is deciding which species of fish you would like to target since it has the greatest bearing on your destination. Now decide if you are going to use a guide or do it on your own, will you need out-of-state license, what type of lodging or are you camping.
These are all important questions that need to be answered. Besides, it helps keep your mind off the cold February winds and snow piling up in the driveway.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
“Man’s heart away from nature becomes hard.”
– Standing Bear