Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Outdoorsman



1. a person who spends a lot of time outdoors or doing outdoor activities

My earliest childhood memories, are of spending time in the outdoors. The summer months, and just about every weekend thereof, our family would pack into a pickup and head to the Sierra Nevadas, to our favorite camp ground. There was no electricity, no camp host, no rules, no paved parking spots... It was simply land we camped on, without designation and nestled beside a creek. It was there I saw deer for the first time, as well as many other animals and critters. It was there I learned how to look for sign of animals and which ones to avoid. It was wild, and it felt so natural to be there... in it. We spent our days up there fishing, shooting guns, catching lizards and riding bikes, in the outdoors and the open air.

Fishing has always been a favorite activity of mine, and although I wasn't too fond of eating fish when I was a child, I loved the thrill and the challenge of catching of them. It was the closest interaction I could experience, safely, with a wild creature. Even as a child, the thought of such, was captivating to me.  I don't know how many hours or days I spent walking up and down a small creek or a big river fishing for trout, but it was what I enjoyed the most while growing up. Lake fishing or soaking bait, I loathed, it was boring and it didn't require much effort. I liked reading the water, and learning it. Sneaking in on fish, trying to determine the right drift and the thrill of seeing a silvery flash beneath the surface. I was hooked, so to speak.

Hunting came later in life, and as the tradition goes, when you turn twelve years old in the Moore household, you get a shotgun for your birthday, mine was a youth Remington 1100. Even though I wasn't able to actually hunt until I was twelve, my father made sure to include me on many of his adventures and we spent a lot of time "pretending" we were hunting while we were in the woods. It was basically practice, and I really enjoyed it. He taught me to be aware of where I stepped, as to not make a sound and to be cautious of the wind while stalking your prey. I learned not to crest ridges in direct sun light or to cast my own shadow and how to use cover and shadows to remain concealed. If there is one memory that stands out to me during those years, it would have to be the time I hopped in a pickup with my dad and his friend Rich to go driving around looking for deer. It was archery season and Rich had a tag and a bow in his hand. I remember the hill we started to climb vividly in my mind, traveling up a bumpy dirt road, we were about mid way up the hill when someone shouted "buck!", and there it was. About 70 yards or so off to the left of the vehicle in the middle of some tall thick buck brush he stood. I saw him with my own eyes, it was exhilarating. My father and Rich quickly formed a plan, which entailed Rich sneaking in on the buck above and my father and I walking below in hopes that if the buck were to move out from our scent or sight, that it would head towards Rich and he would get a shot. Good plan, but if I learned anything on this morning it was that, you can't predict the unpredictable. So there we were, waiting in position, waiting for the shot, the excited shout, "I got him!", but that never happened. In fact, what happened, was the unexpected. Not sure how exactly Rich gave away his position to that buck, but the buck definitely saw or smelled him before he was alarmed to where my father and I stood. I knew this, because that buck bolted out of that buck brush in a hurry, straight down hill, and straight toward my father and I. I wanted to run, to move out of the way, but we stayed put. My dad whispering as he held me in front, "Don't move". Closer and closer that buck moved towards us, my heart was pounding, I remember thinking how strong and powerful that deer looked, while I envisioned it trampling us down. This whole thing, took seconds to play out, and it was at the very last moment, just a few steps in front us when I saw that buck's eyes open wide and in one swift move it dug in to the dirt and changed it's course of direction bounding off to our left. We were safe, I'll never forget that morning.

For me, my passion for the outdoors and wildlife started young. It was bred into me. I breathed it in every second I could, and still to this day. Fishing and hunting is a way of life, a tradition, a family heritage in our household. The values and respect for the outdoors and everything it encompasses was instilled in me, it's more of who I am than anything else. I desire  a certain way of life, that sets me a part from the majority of society, I long for it. My hopes and ambitions belong to it. This life I live, is one of uncertainty, challenges, heartbreak and glory. It is the life of the outdoorsman.


1 comment:

  1. We are Hunters and Fishermen. We are Outdoorsmen.
    It is not what we do, it is who we are!