Tuesday, January 17, 2012

1000 Kid Weekend

 So 1000 Kids turkey hunting weekend. REALLY? What was Shannon and I thinking when we thought up this hair brain idea? Well let me tell you what we were thinking. First and foremost, we were thinking of another way to get people involved in taking kids outdoors. We believe every child should be given the the same chance to enjoy the outdoors as many of us have had. We have our own version of no child left behind here at 100,000 Kids Outdoors. We also believe if most outdoors men/women were to take a child outdoors 1 time, they would do it for the rest of their lives. Now I don't know about you all, but for me nothing gives me more joy then to see a happy child. Have you ever watched one of those you tube videos that say some thing like, I bet this video makes you laugh. When you click on the link all you see is a baby laughing. You cant help but to laugh. Well now imagine you taking a child turkey hunting. You sit down next to a tree, with the child by your side. You put that diaphram call in your mouth and start yelping, a few seconds later you hear it, gobble gobble in the distance. You work the ole tom for several minutes when he steps out from behind the brush in full strut. Then it happens you begin to feel the child shaking, you slowly look down at their face and their eyes are fixed on a spectacle they have never seen before. As the turkey gets closer you hear the drumming, and pattering of his feet. You feel the nervous twitching of the child's hand. Then another tom steps out, and together you watch the turkeys showing off for your decoy. You see the child's foot beginning to move back and forth. You try to whisper for the child to stop moving but the turkey sees your movement. The turkey turns and begins to walk away, you tell the child to shoot, BOOM!!! The toms takes to flight and falls from the air. "You got him" The child hands you the gun, and runs to his first ever turkey. You slowly stand and walk to the overly excited child who is beaming with pride. You bend over and pick the turkey up and try to hand it to the child when the wings begin to flap from the last movements of the nerves, the child jumps back from fear, you chuckle. The child again approaches you and the turkey after his 50yrd retreat from turkzilla. You try to hand the bird to your little sidekick but he is a bit scared. Finally after earning his trust he takes his first turkey in his hands. You snap a few photos for a keepsake and you realize your life has been changed forever. 1000 Kids turkey hunting weekend. REALLY? Your darn right REALLY! Bet we make you smile!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Hunt Is Not Over

Dedicated to ~~~Zac McAmis 7/22/95-6/6/09~~~Where does this story start? Does it start with his first time in the deer woods at the age of three? Or does it start with
his first deer? Or maybe it starts when he killed the deer he had been watching all summer long, “Split” as he called him.
I guess it starts in the beginning. Zac, as we called him was born 2 months early, and with a bad valve in his heart. Zac was not supposed to make it through the first night. But he was my son and he was going to be a fighter. Zac did make it through the first night. After 7 weeks in neonatal ICU, Zac got to come home. Pale blue skin and no energy, Zac had a tough row to hoe. His mother and I were up with him nearly around the clock. When he did sleep, it was on my chest. Zac got stronger but he still had a bad valve in his heart. At 3 months of age, Zac had a major heart surgery. At best, he would have a pacemaker. He would never run and play like the other kids. He would never see the deer woods from a deer stand. Again, Zac beat the odds! Not only did he survive the heart surgery, but he also came through it without a pacemaker.
My son was a fighter. With this new found hope came much joy and happiness. Zac was bouncing off the walls. Every visit to the cardiologist ended with a great report. I began to take Zac out in the woods with me for walks. By age three, Zac and I were in the woods holding hands. Zac loved every bird, squirrel, and critter he seen. Early one September, morning I woke up at 5am to head out to the deer stand, bow in hand. Zac must have heard me moving around. Zac woke up and began yelling for me from my bed. That’s where he slept. I went in the room to calm him and he just kept saying “daddy I go wish you” I would say no and he would say it again. Finally, he broke me. I bundled him up and grabbed the baby pack. You know the one. Moms walk around in the grocery store with the baby strapped to them. Yeah that one. I was going to hunt my favorite stand, way up in the cottonwood tree, but Zac changed those plans. So we walked into the ladder stand at the edge of a cornfield. I thought this is going to be an adventure. I kept telling him we had to be quiet, I would whisper in his ear to keep him content. Zac did great, several does came within bow range and we never were picked off. For the next 3 years I didn’t have much success, I had my little sidekick in the stand with me every time. But man was it awesome.
Zac began shooting the .22 at age five. He was a great shot too. He wanted to shoot a deer though. I guess the squirrels weren’t doing the job anymore. At age 6, I let him shoot the .243. He did great. The following September I bought a deer tag with his name on it. I made a blind out of an old windmill and we climbed up and sat. 30 minutes later a 7-point buck made his way out of the tree line. I whispered to Zac “Do you want to take him?” He said “OH yeah daddy.” With Zac sitting on my knee, he took aim. But he hit his gun on the metal ladder. The deer 85 yards away picked us off. The deer started stomping and bobbing his head and he was going to bolt. I told Zac “You’re going to have to shoot buddy. Get on him and squeeze.” Zac said, “Well if you would quit breathing so hard I would” So I held my breath Zac steadied the rifle and squeezed off a round. Smack!! Zac put the whompooie on the deer. His hands flew in the air and he said, “I told you I was big enough to shoot a deer.” Together we bowed our heads, said a prayer of thanks, and climbed from the windmill. We walked to the deer and Zac put his hands on his first set of antlers. A love affair started between a boy and those deer.
For the next 6 years, Zac and I hunted together. We harvested countless deer and turkey. We called coyotes and hunted pheasant. Zac was in love with the outdoors. If you talked to Zac, it had better be about hunting or he wasn’t talking. At age 12, I bought Zac his first compound bow. He would take that bow out in the yard and shoot for hours. Heck he could shoot as good as me. Zac had a new goal; he wanted to harvest a deer with his bow. And harvest deer he did. That winter he shot three does with that bow. His passion for hunting was unreal. When he decided to do something, he conquered it.
That summer we began running trail cameras in our favorite hunting spots and Zac fell in love with a deer he called Split. He swore he was going to get that deer mounted on his wall. When September rolled around Zac was ready. ZacZac laid the rifle across a tree branch and squeezed off a round (MISS). Split took off and ran to the other side of the state. Zac was heart broke. The deer he’d been praying for was gone. Zac was quiet that night. I tried to comfort him but he was struggling. The next day we climbed up in a tree at the edge of a CRP where Split ran the day before. About an hour after getting into stand, the wind came up. It must have been 20 to 30 mph. That’s one thing about living in Kansas you had better be able to adjust to the wind. With the wind about to blow us out of the tree we decided to get down and tuck into the CRP grass at the edge of the bean field. After what seemed like forever and no deer in sight, I slowly stood up and scanned the grass. There he is Split and he is going to come out in the bean. I sank down and whispered to Zac “big deer coming” Zac asked, “is it Split”? I told him I thought it was and he is only 35 yards away. After 30 minutes and no deer, I wondered had I blown it for him. Had I scared his deer off? I slowly stood up and looked over the grass again, no Split.
Wait what’s that? It’s him!! I sank back to the ground and whisper to Zac get your rifle up Split is about to step out. Zac raised his gun and Split stepped out 40 yards away. Zac centered the cross hairs and squeezed off a round. The bullet found its mark this time, Split was going down. Zac laid his rifle on the ground and threw his arms around me. “We did it daddy we did it!!” We said our prayer of thank and went and found Split. Zac sat on Split’s back and held his horns. With tears in my eyes, I snapped a few photos and gave my little man a hug. Zac said to me “Daddy that’s my first dream come true.” Zac made a statement that shocked me, he said daddy “before I die I wanted to kill Split, kill 2 turkeys with 1 shot and catch a 50lbs catfish”
The following April Zac and I were out turkey hunting. I was 50 yards behind Zac calling in a couple toms. Zac drew his bow and let an arrow fly. Zac stood up and ran to the flopping turkey. I stood up and walked to Zac and there were two flopping turkey. One Month later, while fishing a local river Zac caught his 50lbs catfish. All his wishes came true.
3 days later, on 6/6/09 while fishing a creek bank, Zac’s heart quit beating. My little man was gone. I had so much left to teach him. So much left to do. Who would I hunt with now? Who would I share my stands with? I was broken. The answer came the following September when a friend of mine asked me if I would take his son Kiel out to kill a deer. I would have said no but Kiel was Zac’s best friend. The next day Jim, Kiel, and I headed out to the deer blind and Kiel shot his first big buck. I had my answers. Zac’s legacy would live on. There are young people all over who need good mentors. So for me THE HUNT IS NOT OVER!! It is only the beginning for as many young people as I can find who want to see life from the deer woods.
Written By Phil McAmis

Bobwhites Sing Like Angels

Growing up on our small farm my two brothers and I looked forward to the short trips in to town. On this day momma was takin me to Mr C's market. I would go to the store with momma often. This trip was special though. For a change I had been a good boy. I had fed the ducks, helped carry firewood in to the cellar and I hadn't received a whoopin all week. Well heck I even walked the neighbor girl home because she was scared. This was going to be special trip to town. I had been eyeing a package of brand new toy cars. The package had 8 cars in each,1 of every color. The best part they were made out of metal. (pot metal) These cars were the real deal, no plastic cars for me; not any more. I was getting real metal cars. All the way to the store I told momma how she was the best momma in the whole entire world. I would stretch my hands as far apart as I could to show her how much I loved her. I told momma I would clean those cars everyday when I was done playing with them, and I would put them up in my bedroom every night. That trip to Mr C's market seemed to take an hour. (even though it was only about 5 miles) Finally we made it. I flung the car door open and took off like a beagle after a cottontail, there was no stoppin me except for one thing, momma's yellin. I put on the brakes and picked my self up off the ground, it was hard to stop real fast like that when you was runnin across the rocks with bare feet. So me and my bloody toe waited at the door for momma to catch up. Momma asked if I was hurt, but of course I could feel no pain, "shucks no I'm not hurt" I replied. I opened the door and let momma walk in ahead of me. Charlie the owner of the store greeted momma with a tip of his hat and me with a piece of gum. "how you doing young Phillip" he said with a booming voice. "I'm good Mr C" I replied. "I'm gunna get that package of new cars today" I exclaimed. Mr C said "well you'd better get back there and grab them, I only have 1 package left". Off to the races again I went, until I felt it; fireballs coming out of momma's eyes, hitting me right square in the chest. Momma was a sniper with them dang thangs, she never missed. Slowly I walked to the back wall where the package of cars was sitting on the self, leaving a blood trail a blind man could follow. I grabbed my cars and walked over to momma and asked her for a dime. Momma dug around in her purse and pulled out a dime, and handed it to me. I took the dime and walked slowly to the counter. No way I was running, I made it this close to the holy grail I wasn't going to screw this up. I got to the counter and handed Mr C my dime and walked out of the store with my brand new cars. I sat down out front and opened the package. I pulled each car out 1 at a time so as not to drop them. Vrrooom vrrooom the sounds would come out as each car was pulled from its package. I was in onery brat heaven. I sat there lookin at those cars till momma walked out of the store. I gathered my cars into my hands and got in the car for the ride home. I didn't say a word to momma on the way home I just sat and stared at my cars. Bumpin down the road and up the drive I did'nt even notice we had visitors until I heard the yellin. My cousin Greg was at my house! This was horrible! What would I do with my new cars? I couldn't let him see them that's for sure. Momma did it again, she hit me with another fireball. (see I told you she never missed) Momma shoftly said "now your going to share those cars with your cousin" I was heart broken. My cars would be ruined. "No momma please!" I exclaimed, "they will be ruined". Momma said "now son your cousins don't get new toys so your going to share". My cousins were from the city, and they didn't have much money back in those days, coarse neather did we. I climbed from the car and my cousin ran up to me and asked "watcha got in ur hand". I opened both hands and simply said "pick one" He reached into my hand and picked the only pickup truck in the whole lot. We walked over to cottonwood tree at the edge of the yard and sat down. We began making trails to drive the cars on, and tunnels to park them in. We played under that old cottonwood tree til dark. It was the greatest day in a boys life. Finally momma called us to the house. It was time for Greg to leave. Greg helped me clean the cars as though he loved them as much as I did. Greg slowly turned to leave when I stopped him. "Greg" I yelled. Greg turned looked at me and walked back, I simply said "pick one" Greg reached in my hand and picked the only pickup truck in the lot. Greg left my house that day with a smile, one of my new cars and a memory he will have forever. I swore I would never be a greedy person as long as I lived.
I have tried to live my life by that example. When I had my own children I only hoped they would learn the same lesson I learned. As I began to spend more and more time in the woods with my son, I knew I wanted to share my time in the outdoors with him. If you invited me to go hunting or fishing then you invited him. I shared every moment I had in the outdoors with Zac. People would tell me how stupid I was because I was taking Zac fishing all night long, or hunting in the cold. People would question me as to why I was letting a 6 yr old shoot a gun. Zac answered that question one November morning. We drove to our favorite deer hunting spot about 2 hours before first light and got out of the truck. It was a beautiful fall morning. It was one of those mornings every deer hunter dreams of. There was a new moon so it was dark. We were going to be able to walk to our stands in the complete cover of darkness. It was crisp, you could see your breath. The wind was perfect, just a slight breeze out of the northwest. Everything was perfect. We grabbed our rifles and backpacks and headed across the the overgrown pasture toward our deer stand. It was a big stand we had put up around the middle part of summer in a Mulberry tree. We had a long walk ahead of us. I began to notice Zac was tripping over my every step. I asked Zac if he was ok. He simply answered "it is dark daddy can we use the flashlight". I told Zac to grab my backpack and he would be ok. The walk in that morning was full of every sound the Kansas wilderness has to offer. A owl hooting here, a coyote howl there, some scampering in the brush beside us. The whole time I got to hold my sons hand and just be his daddy. I was superman for that walk. In his eyes nothing could whip his ole dad. This morning was truly special. We finally arrived to our stand over looking a nice big draw with heavy woods to our southwest crop fields straight north, with a main trail coming right down the middle of the draw.We knew the deer that morning would wait til first light before they decided to come back to the timber for a day of rest. We knew we were in the right place. While waiting in the dark for first shooting light and the chance to see that once in a lifetime buck, Zac and I were as much a part of nature as every animal in those woods and it felt great. As the sun began to climb and the golden rays of light began to bounce of of the frost covered ground, you can only wonder if this is the same beautiful gold that is in heaven. Zac and I were awww struck, and then it happened, a single Bobwhite quail sounded off with his beautiful whistle, and we were serenaded with the singing of a thousand Bobwhites for what seemed like forever. When the Bobwhites quit singing Zac leaned over to me and said "bobwhites sound like angles singing daddy" That morning we saw several deer but never lifted a rifle. We simply sat and watched all that God has given us, and I got the chance to share the sound of the angels singing with my little man.

Dedicated to my little man. Hear the angels sing now!
Written by Phillip McAmis

You Remember Me

You have known me from church for the last 10 yrs. I lived down the street and played with your son everyday. You met me in the grocery store and my mom told you my dad just left without a word. You saw me in the yard pretending to be a soldier like my dad, who is away at war. You talked to me when you brought back the tools you borrowed from my dad, but dad was'nt there, another 16 hour work day for him. I heard you say you loved hunting. I bet its fun. I saw the fish you caught last Saturday. I wish I could catch a fish like that. I love the bumper sticker on your truck, you know the one that says, (Pass It On). I watched as you and your son got ready to go the shooting range yesterday. I wanted to ask if I could go, but I did'nt want to be a burden. Mom always says she will take me hiking, but she has my little sister to care for and does'nt have time. Sometimes I go hiking in the backyard and pretend there is a river. I lay down in that river and splash around, and sometimes I catch fish with my bare hands. It would be really cool If I could do that for real. I got a plastic gun and binoculars for Christmas this year. I went to the empty lot next to the gas station and pretended to hunt deer like you do. Remember you saw me. You said to yourself, "I should take him hunting with me sometime". Sometime never came. When your son tells me about his adventures, I go home and pretend I'm your son. I dream of the day you ask me to go. I just want you to know I'll be here if you ever need a huntin buddie. I'll be here, waiting, and hoping. Just waiting for a chance make you feel like you made a difference. When you do finally knock on my door and ask if I would like to go fishing for a few hours, I will run to the other room and beg momma to let me go. Momma will come to the door and say he can go if he won't be to much trouble . I will be praying you say "no trouble at all". And when we are done with our adventure I promise I will never forget how much you cared for me. I will go home and tell my mom what a great day we had together. I will tell my friends at school how big the fish was that I caught. And I promise with all my heart I will never ever forget that you loved me.
Written By Phil McAmis

Home Again!

Why do we have such passion to be in the outdoors? What is it about standing in a tree for hours at a time hoping for a deer to come within bow range that has us so excited  months before season starts? Then when we finally climb into our stands the first time each season and we feel as though we are home again after being away for years. All of our old friends are still there. The sunrise welcomes us back with a gift of frozen dew on the waving blades of grass. The Bobwhite family stops by our stand and sings us a song that is so beautiful we never want it to end. Our old buddy the squirrel is still in that ole cottonwood tree barking at us, maybe he is just saying hello. The annoying Blue jay that lives just a few trees away is still flying from tree branch to tree branch making way to much noise, telling the woods we are home. The Raccoon family from the hole down the way are walking home after a busy night trying to feed the family. The leaves from our tree fall to the ground, alerting us of all who pass by. The smells of the plains fill our noses with a sweetness you only get from a Kansas deer hunt. We are in love with our place in the deer woods, and our prairie family has welcomed us for another short stay. When that buck does come within range our bodies begin to shake, our heart races, our breathing is out of control. We draw our bow, and release the arrow on its mission to provide us food, and house hold decoration. We hang our bow in its spot on the side of the tree and sit for a moment knowing what comes next. Our bodies again shake out of control, and for a moment we fear falling from our perch high in the tree. As we sit and ponder our shot we say a prayer of thank to God for giving  us such a beautiful setting to provide for our families. We climb from our tree not to return till next year, where we will again be welcomed back to our home in Gods outdoor paradise, knowing this is where we are supposed to be.
Written By Phil McAmis

Hes There, Just Listen

I found him once while sitting on a log while wetting a line. I seen him in a great Kansas sunset. He walks with me to my deerstand, and talks with me on every hunt. With tear filled eyes he came to me and gave me a hug when I was at that bend in the creek.  I hear him in the flowing water, and the singing birds, in the joyful scamper of squirrels, and the howls of the coyotes, in the blowing wind, and the calmest of days. When I want to speak to him I know where he is. He is in my deerstand, and at the lake, on the ole hiking trail by the creek, he is in the meadow, and on top of the mountain.  When I need his strength he is in a mighty thunderstorm, and the flashes of lightning, in the windstorms, and raging rivers. His presents never leaves me, I am never alone. He wipes my tears and forms my smile. He shows me his peace with every falling leaf, and assures me of his promise with every new bud. Though life ends it is renewed with the warmth of his love. Stop; and close your eyes the next time you are in the outdoors and see if you find my God speaking to you, the way he does me.
Written By Phil, McAmis

Hold Steady And Squeeze!

  "Dad come here quick I have to show you something on the computer". Zac yelled from the other room. I figured it was another picture of a great deer harvested, on some website. Zac was 10 and all he thought about was deer hunting. He lived just to see a deer in the wild. His room was covered in the antlers of the deer he harvested. He saved every empty  bullet casing from the rounds he used to harvest his deer with. You could take any empty casings from the box where he kept them and he could tell the story behind each empty casing. Every deer he killed had a name, Split, Crabby, Limp, Charolett, the list goes on. The land we hunted was sacred to him. The trees where our stand were hung were perfect in his eyes. I would try to move a stand and he would say "no Dad, remember we saw that buck from that stand" so I would leave the stand and hang another one where I wanted it. He was a deer hunter. As I wondered into the room where he was sitting at the computer I saw he was on my ebay account looking at a bow, it was a High Country youth bow, 30 to 50lbs draw weight. He looked at me with excitement and hope and simply said "I have $100.00 saved up and this auction will end in 7 mins will you please bid on it for me and I will give you my money" How could I say no? He had been mowing lawns around the neighborhood and saved every penny he made. I sat down and began bidding on the bow, and the price kept climbing and climbing. When it got to $105.00 his heart sank, you could feel the excitement leave his little body and he left the room. I kept bidding and finally won the bow for $130.00. I turned the monitor off and told Zac he could have the computer again. A few moments later when he realized I had bought the bow he came running in to the kitchen where I was sitting and threw his arms around me and gave me a huge hug. "Thank you daddy Thank you" Zac ran to his room and ran back in to the kitchen with his $100.00 and handed it to me. I took the money folded it up and put it in my pocket. For the next several days all he talked about was getting that bow. When it finally did arrive Zac met the UPS driver at the door. I signed for the bow and handed it to Zac. Zac tore the box open and held his bow. It was like Chirstmas morning. The bow was in really good shape, with just a few flaws. It needed a new arrow rest  a peep sight, and some arrows. Zac asked if we could go to the archery shop and buy the stuff he needed. Zac and I jumped in the truck and went to the store. I picked him up a new whisker biscuit arrow rest, 6 carbon arrows and a peep sight. I handed Zac the same $100.00  and Zac went and paid. On the way home Zac asked if that was his $100.00 and I answered nope it was mine. He smiled and slid over next to me in the truck beaming with happiness. When we got home we worked on Zac's bow and cut his arrows. He was dieing to shoot it. I gave him my bow release and we headed to the target area. After about 30mins of instruction we began sighting in Zac's bow. " Hold it steady son put your pin on the 10 ring and squeeze". Zac let the arrow fly. Zac hit the target but was off a bit. after a couple of hours Zac was hitting the 10 ring at 20 yrd. From that day on Zac was a boy on a mission. For about a month Zac shot from 20 yards. As time went on Zac's range increased. For the next year Zac shot his bow daily, in the cold, the heat, rain, and snow. Zac loved that bow. Zac got to be quite the archer. He was effective out to 35 yrds. Zac began begging me to let him harvest a deer with his bow. With archery season only a month away I agreed, but he had to shoot a doe first. I wasn't sure if the bow had enough power to make a good kill so I wanted him shooting a smaller deer. The month went by pretty quickly, and it was time to go hunt. Zac and I sat through several days of hunting before a deer came within bow range. Finally a doe showed herself about 100yards away, but she was going the wrong way. Zac asked me to call to her, so I did. I blew a few times on my fawn bleat and the doe turned and trotted right under our stand. Zac drew his bow, but the deer saw him, and the staring match was on. Zac took aim and hit his the release. A perfect shot. The arrow made a complete pass through, and the deer piled up only 25 yards away. Zac hung his bow on the tree next to us and sat on my lap. I began telling Zac how great of a job he did but he didn't respond, Zac couldn't speak, he was shaking like a leaf. After a few long minutes ZacZachuntin buddies will be etched in my mind forever. Now every year when bow season rolls around I have mixed emotions about going out to my deer stands without my little man. But the memories we shared are a life time of love and sharing, of laughter and joy. They are about the dreams of a child, and the hopes of a father, and most of all the grace of God for allowing me to raise his child for 13 years. So this deer season as I climb into my deer stands knowing my little man is looking down from heaven and I just have to remember hold it steady, put your pin on the 10 ring and squeeze. Then I will say my thanks to God for feeding my family and give my little man a thumbs up for teaching me to how to be a dad.
Written By Phil McAmis

Leave It Better Then You Found It.

   As a teen aged boy I began to teach myself to hunt, because my dad bailed and the other male influences in my life were not hunters. I learned to fish and I camped often as a child, so my love for the outdoors was already in my soul. I loved everything about the outdoors. The animals, the plants, the fish, the wind, and storms, the falling leaves, and the sunsets were all as much apart of me as the beat in my heart. But I knew something was missing. I couldn't put my finger on what it was until one fall morning when I went cottontail hunting with a friend. Lee my friend handed me a single shot 20 gauge and we headed out across a endless horse pasture with thousands of yucca plants. Lee walked up and kicked one of those yucca plants and out ran a cottontail. Lee lifted his shotgun and shot the rabbit on the first shot. Lee walked over picked up the rabbit and said to me "that's all there is to it" Lee could shoot like a champion. Lee pointed to my right and said" you walk over there and I will walk over here". As we began to walking across the pasture kicking yucca plants I would watch as Lee would lift his shot gun and shoot rabbit after rabbit. After about a 1/4 of a mile or so of walking Lee had already bagged 6 cottontail and I hadn't even seen a rabbit. Lee walked over to me and asked what was wrong, and then he noticed the drops of blood soaking through my pant legs from the sharp tips of the yucca plants. I told Lee this was not any fun and I wanted to go home. Lee looked at me and said "lets just try one more time" Lee began to explain in a little more detail that you just put your foot on the side of the plant and give it a hard push. So I walked up to the next yucca plant placed my foot low into the plant and gave it a firm push, and out ran a cottontail. I raised my gun to shoot, took aim, and pulled the trigger, I missed by a mile. I walked to several more yucca plant with no success. No rabbits, and sore legs, this hunting thing kinda sucks, I thought to myself. After Kicking several more plants I finally got another rabbit to come running out, of coarse I missed again. This was getting personal now, I was going to harvest one of those rabbits if it took me all day. I spent most of that afternoon missing rabbits and draining blood from my legs. On the way back to the car I kicked one last yucca plant and out came a rabbit, I raised my gun, took aim, and squeezed the trigger. Boom the gun went off and there in the dirt laid my first ever cottontail. I had done it. Walking over to that rabbit and picking it up must have been one of the happiest moments of my young life. We got in the truck and went home. Lee dropped me off at my house, I gathered up my rabbit and went inside the house holding the rabbit by the back legs. I showed momma my trophy. Momma told me to take it outside and clean it. After what seemed like forever I got the rabbit cleaned and took it back in the house and laid it in the sink. I begged momma to cook the rabbit up for me and she did. I enjoyed every piece of meat I could scrape off that rabbit. The next morning I was on the phone to Lee asking to go rabbit hunting with him again, and he agreed. When we arrived and the new hunting place I noticed alot of trash and beer cans laying on the ground. Lee got out of the truck and began picking up the cans. I jumped from the truck and started helping clean up the trash. After we cleaned up the trash we began our hunt. This time I faired pretty well taking home 4 rabbits of my own. I found the missing piece, hunting. From that day on all I could think about was going rabbit hunting. More importantly I learned 2 important lessons, first share the outdoors. Every person deserves a chance to experience harvesting, and feeding yourself with the bounty that God has given us. From life to death to life sustaining nourishment hunting is not brutal, but a way to provide for yourself or a family. Secondly was to leave the land better then when you found it. Some people didn't care that the trash they left was just going to sit a rot away on the land we are so blessed to hunt. We are responsible for the wildlife we hunt and the land where they live. These are life lessons that we can apply to every part of our lives. Take a child outdoors show them the value of the life we take. Teach them real conservation. Help them to understand our love for the land that so often sustains our lives. Let them join in the campfire stories. Be excited when they learn something new. Be patient and teach them. Love them every time they go outdoors with you. I promise, like the land where Lee and I picked up the trash. We can pick up a child and leave them better then we found them.
Written By; Phil McAmis

Decline in the outdoors, Why

Most kids now a days do not have a mentor to take them hunting, and fishing. Is it because its easier to take your child to team sports? Is it because of negative press and opinions about firearms? Are we getting lazy? One thing is certain video games, and malls have definitely had a impact on the children and the outdoors. Time spent with a child in the outdoors will make a huge difference in the life of that child, and hopefully his friends.