“Strangers are friends we haven’t met yet!” Some days, we may bump into another hunter, or fisherman. We are not the only ones afield. Many of these encounters end up being wasted.
We have all read about keeping hunting and fishing spots a deep secret. If you see another fisherman in your river it is one too many. Other hunters just ruin your chance to tag out.
Most hunters and fishermen are good sports. You just need to give them a chance. Try introducing yourself and start up a conversation. You will be amazed at how much information you will get. The conversation can also lead to a new friendship.
One trout opening day, I was fishing along a local trout stream. Two boys were perched on a big rock struggling to catch a trout. Their tackle was tangled and their fun was fading. I started up a conversation and helped them. While I was untangling their rods, I could see a school of trout in the pool they were fishing. After a little Trout Fishing 101, I was netting their first trout of the year. What I didn’t notice was their Mother sitting on the bank behind us. We all caught our limits. The boys netted trout for me too.
The day wasn’t about a limit of trout, it was about making fishing friends. The single, “Soccer Mom” was not a fisherman. She had no clue how to help her sons. She was very good with her camera, and thankful for the show. “Most of the fishermen I saw just walked by my boys. They seemed mad that they were in their favorite fishing hole”, she said. I still bump into this family on the stream. Even Mom has learned how to fish. Her sons taught her something new. She uses fishing as a reward for good grades and behavior. Her sons have taken the bait hook, line, and sinker. What a great, and simple, gift to share!
Fishing, hunting, and outdoor sports are about sharing. What I enjoy most about fishing, and hunting, is how much I need to learn. Every day is different and challenges you to be successful. Learning new tricks, and tips, is so much fun. We are all ambassadors for the outdoors. The larger our Brother/Sisterhood of sportsmen is, the longer we will have healthy outdoor sports to enjoy.
If fishing and hunting “Snobs” have their way, our wild places will become the playground for just the wealthiest and prestigious society. That’s how much of the outdoor sports are in Europe, and England. It has become the “sports of kings”. Everyone else is not allowed in this close nit, snob society.
American outdoors belong to all of us. Take responsibility to keep them clean, healthy, and public. Set the example and become active in protecting, and conserving, our wonderful natural resources.
Make a new friend the next time you bump into someone else that enjoys what you enjoy. You already have something in common.
Keepers are Friends that you get to choose!
For more Montana Grant, visit his website at www.montanagrantfishing.com.