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I grew up in the outdoors. My father has been hunting and fishing his whole life, so from the time I could barely walk, I was in the duck blind, woods, or in a boat fishing. It was and is how we live and to me it is a way of life. Not everyone is blessed with the opportunity to experience the outdoors like I do. I always say that I get to experience sunrises, sunsets, and other magnificent nature occurrences on a consistent basis that many people will never experience. Watching and listening to the woods come alive as the horizon barely starts to lighten while I am sitting in a deer stand is one of my favorites.

Recently I was given the opportunity to take a high school student out kayak fishing for his first time. We arrived at the farm pond and I put him in my Jackson Cuda. He started by just paddling around and getting a feel of it. His friend was also along, but he had been in a kayak several times before. I started by giving him an ultra light with a small jig to throw at a large sunken tree in the middle of the pond. Not too long later after a few tips, he was catching slab crappie! To see the smile on his face was priceless. By the end of the day he had graduated to a Texas rigged craw and was casting the bank catching largemouth bass. His buddy and he were having a contest to see who could catch the most in an hour period.

It really kind of emotionally hit me that not everyone has the opportunity that I had growing up. If a person’s family or friends don’t fish or aren’t avid in the outdoors, they don’t have the opportunity to experience stuff like this. So if you have the time and equipment, I strongly suggest introducing someone new to the outdoors. Whether it’s hunting, hiking, fishing or even just paddling or a boat ride. Bring them to a pond, or take them bluegill fishing, something with consistent action to keep them interested! It will more than likely have a large impact on their life, in fact it will probably impact your life just as much!