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Into the Outdoors - New Year’s Resolutions

I know that it might seem a bit on the corny side, but since this is the last column of 2020, I thought it might be fun to take a look at some possible New Year’s resolutions for 2021 for those of us of the outdoor persuasion. I know, resolutions are usually hollow and don’t last very long, but let’s give it a try anyway.

Over the years. this column has reflected the importance of introducing kids to the joys of the outdoors, both hunting and fishing. I think that it would be a great resolution to introduce at least one youngster to hunting and fishing. Sadly, there are lots of kids out there who would no doubt enjoy the outdoors, but they lack an adult to take them out. If you have a kid or grandkid of your own, it’s an easy matter. If not, why not search about for a young person who needs you to get them started? There is no shortage of them. While there are certain restrictions when it comes to hunting, fishing is another story. If you get a kid hooked on fishing (pardon the pun), it is a very small step to hunting.

Landowner relations is another area in which we must be especially active. If someone is nice enough to let you hunt on their land, for crying out loud, don’t abuse the privilege. Remember, most of our hunting is done on land that is privately owned. If we leave piles of litter, broken fences, dead or injured livestock and trampled crops in our wake, it won’t be long before the posted signs go up, and who could blame the landowners? A lot of fishing, especially trout fishing, is done on private land, too, so the same rules apply here as well.

As distasteful as it may be to many, we must also resolve to become more active on the political scene. It looks as though we are are going to have to deal with liberals in government. This applies especially to our Second Amendment rights. As gun owners, we are all in this together, from owners of single shot shotguns to AR-15s. We have an anti-gun governor, anti-gun senators and an anti-gun House of representatives. Attacks will be coming from any directions.

We should, I think, resolve to fight any increases in the cost of hunting licenses in the new year, unless the Game Commission decides to take into account, at least to some degree, the wishes of the people who pay the bills. This has been an issue for a number of years now, and it is certain to resurface again in 2021. The power of the purse strings is the only leverage we have, and we should use it as effectively as we can.

We need to look at ourselves a bit as well. It’s all too easy to become slipshod when it comes to such vitally important things as firearms safety. Even one hunter killed or injured is one too many, yet it happens every year. Other safety measures, such as boating safety, are also essential and easily overlooked. Let’s resolve to be more careful.

It’s hard to believe that we are on the threshold of yet another new year. Let’s do all we can to make the most of it.

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