Editor’s Insight

Here We Go Again

Following Hurricane Harvey I commented how proudly and selflessly Texans pulled together to help one another following that natural disaster. Now Texas, our country and the world have, and continue to battle “the invisible enemy” COVID 19. It looks as though we may add this to a list of recurring respiratory ailments.
Behind every dark cloud there lies a silver lining and that is true with this latest challenge. We have see strong leadership from President Trump and his assembled team. He has offered hope to the masses when dealing with the unknowns of this virus, plus has been what seems to be a logical counter-balance to the “by-the-book” scientist and physicians. No one’s predictions are perfectly accurate.
Trump took the shackles off of the FDA and pharmaceutical companies that resulted in positive treatments and the potential for vaccines in record time. It makes one wonder if that type of tenacity was applied to long-battled illnesses what might occur.
We have seen corporate, private and individual sectors rise up to retool, offer assistance or just a personal helping hand. Even on the political sector, for the most part, the partisan attacks have become less. It is nice to see bi-partisan efforts put forth for the good of the country. While more work needs to be done, it is refreshing to see legislation passed that remain focused on specific content without being burdened with special-interest amendments.
Outdoor enthusiasts have been impacted too. Social distancing, which we are to believe is the “new norm” is something hunters and anglers naturally do. For the most part we enjoy our secluded places and provide distance so we don’t crowd one another. I repeat, most offer common courtesies and respect to one another.
There remains, and I guess will always be a part of our society, those self-centered, selfish, me-first individuals that can spoil it for the rest. This is evident by the need for boat ramps and beaches to have been closed due to people crowding each other or disregarding health and safety guidelines the majority observe. This seems to be the latest casualty to the lack of common sense.
Even those that may question if the measures being taken are too restrictive or wonder if the numbers warrant such a response still play by the rules. It is what a society does as we work together.
There are opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy what we have been given. We find those isolated, overlooked and under utilized places to breath some fresh air.
One almost forgotten pastime that occurs each May is spring squirrel hunting. While Texas doesn’t have a lot of public land, the National Forest’s of East Texas are pretty quiet this time of year as “Mister Bushytail” is taking care of his business.
While hunting small game, the hardwood creek bottoms are teeming with wild hogs. It is simply another option.
Similarly there are places to wet a line. Kayakers on the coast and inland lakes can find small pockets or shorelines to thoroughly fish. By slowing down much is learned and the results can be surprising.
Then there is always the opportunity to share with the next generation. It may be in the backyard or vacant parking lot. Get some spinning or baitcasting equipment and a practice casting plug plus a few “hula hoops.” Lay the hoops on the ground at different distances as targets to increase casting accuracy.
Finally as we seek out isolated places, remember if someone else got there first, simply go find another option. Maybe sharing and respect will return as the norm.

Until next month: Pursue all of your outdoor activities in a safe and ethical manner.

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