Outdoorsmen are collectors. We collect friends, gear, souvenirs, stories, and experiences. Mounts, pictures, and videos remind us about those special moments. The stuffed fish, fowl, and critters are Memorials to our spirit and quests.
When my kids were little, we had a tradition of bringing back a souvenir, or memory, from every outdoor quest. They had to bring back a bone, rock, stick, or something special from their time afield. We used a corner of the yard to place them into a mound.
“Things” remind us about Stuff we did. The kids could pick up any one item and start a grand story about where, when, and why this artifact was so important to them.
Outdoorsmen spend huge amounts of time patiently waiting for a bite, seeing a deer, looking for the right spot, surviving afield, and discovering new places and “Things”. Why not bring a sample home. Its in our DNA to be collectors.
Make sure the “Thing” you are gathering is legal. For years, tourists would visit the special places of Yellowstone Park, and chip off some obsidian or petrified tree. Chunks of this, pieces of that were absconded in a moment. Today you can only “Take a Picture and Leave Only a Footprint”.
Keep “Things Simple!” Montana has no shortage of rocks. Antlers and critter parts are an annual gathering tradition. Unique sticks, and stuff can be fun. Whittling or making primitive jewelry or gear is creative and skillful. Use the gems you find at Crystal Park to make something thoughtful and fancy.
As a lifelong guide, I had a tradition of giving my clients a small rock at the end of each trip. Usually, I selected a rock at the spot or place where they had an adventure, caught a big fish, or harvested their first elk. When I gave them the rock, I told them to put this Thing in their pocket and always keep it with them. If life were hard, they were lonely or feeling down, just reach into their pocket and rub that thing that would bring back ta special moment in their life.
Years and decades later, they told me that the rocks were polished like diamonds. It’s funny how small “Things” can make a difference.
For more Montana Grant, find his Things at www.montanagrantfishing.com.