... and How I Became Connected to the Outdoors
Mom & Dad both told me that time fly's by.... they were right! I'm 43 years young and seems like only yesterday I was a hot to trot Teen setting out the decoys in the duck pond. My first hunting memory was that of my Dad & Uncle taking me duck hunting in the Lake Salvador WMA in Southeast LA with my trusted pump-action BB gun - that's right, ducks with a BB gun! I swore I downed a few that morning and traversing the fresh water marshes proved to be a challenge, but I just followed Dad along the way and listened intently to his instructions. Truth is, I never worried about the cold, the wet, the sinking in the marsh, how much time it would take, what time I would be getting home, cell phones, etc. and so many other things. Man what a treat it was to grow up then! Many proud days afield hunting Ducks out of the 'ole blinds. Dad lived for the sunrise and that first hot cup of Joe in the crisp morning light. Whistling wings would "buzz the tower" as a flock of sonic-booming Green-winged Teal flew across our front-side close to the waters surface. Coffee cups would spill, cigarettes would fly out and that frantic reach for the pump action 12 with the right hand and the duck calls with the left was so desperate! Only to realize that the Teal were now in the next Parish and long gone - ahhh, the laughs we had. Good memories and I'm so blessed to have them.
So about the time in 1987, I was a junior in high school (go Rummel Raiders), I would frequent the local Newsstand for magazines. But on this day I was to find something quite odd - I went straight to the latest issue of Transworld Skateboarding and snatched up the new issue; then headed to the hunting section for a longer more detailed browsing. There I saw something I had not seen before - A Wild Turkey roosted in a tree on the front cover. The magazine in question, "Aqua-Field Guide to Turkey Hunting." Little did I know, this single issue would have a great and profound impact on myself, my hunting and my life in general. I read it cover to cover. I couldn't get enough. There was no internet back then. I still have the issue by the way. I asked my Dad, "...you know anyone that hunts wild turkey?" He replied, "I sure do..." I like to hit the roof... "when we going?" I said. Some weeks after, Dad had told me that he asked his buddy, Jerry Sullivan of Mt. Olive, MS (Covington County) if we could come up and hunt with him and the answer was a huge YES!!! I couldn' wait for Springtime to come round. And so began my Turkey Hunting Adventures with whom would become my Turkey Hunting Mentor, Jerry Sullivan. It took me 3-Seasons to finally kill my first Wild Turkey, a Jake (back then they were legal). I was proud of that bird no matter what. The following year turned out to be truly special though; it was the first season I was able to hunt/go off on my own and test my skills. I took my first mature Gobbler that year and still have him to this day!
Today... I'm all grown up, kids of my own, no time, no places to hunt, no extra finances, but am very humbled by all the rich "life" experiances I have had and extremely fortunate & greatfull to have had the chance to do it all! I like to shoot video and edit as well as work on new emerging Outdoor-related endeavors; my latest is GeoJAW Mapping Solutions. Who knows where the Outdoors will take me next!!!