Outdoors

Stokes: You can't favor hunting or fishing without trying both

rodcrafter@islc.netMarch 17, 2013 

Most outdoorsmen typically have varied interests. Many fishermen hunt and many hunters fish. But the two groups tend to be fairly distinct, each having certain peculiarities.

Some may only choose a particular species or game, and the seasons often need to be in sync or reasonably close for a smooth transition. This is not to say that both cannot be enjoyed equally or that participation is not varied.

However, you will rarely find a fisherman or a hunter who loves each sport equally. They may make certain claims to the contrary, but if forced to choose, you will quickly discover their preference.

As for me, I'm a fisherman who hunts. It's the only way I can be true to myself. I'm not committed enough to imply a change among family and friends and have them believe I am that proficient. I do, on the other hand, care enough about each that I don't fish as well as I could, nor connect with that many shots. It's entertaining enough just to be outdoors.

When I started writing this, I had the intention to pose one sport against the other, to qualify each on its own merits and leave the final verdict to the reader.

But let's face facts. No matter how you determine a favorite, merit success or failure, or simply make a choice, if it wasn't exciting, if it did not hold your attention or was otherwise a bore, you would more than likely stay home.

To rightfully make a decision between the two, you have to participate. Whether victory was accomplished or not, you were blessed for having the opportunity.

GEAR UP FOR GOBBLERS

To legally hunt turkeys, hunters must possess a set of turkey tags and may not possess more than one set. Tags are free and may be ordered online.

For a list of businesses that have over-the-counter turkey tags and information on the 2013 Turkey Season, go to the SC Department of Natural Resources website at http://dnr.sc.gov/regs/pdf/turkey.pdf

The outlook for the spring season is good for most areas of the state, according to Charles Ruth, Deer and Turkey Project supervisor for SCDNR. Survey indicators have improved compared to the previous six to eight years. Sources say as many as 50,000 hunters might participate this season, which would generate an estimated $30 million for South Carolina's economy.

The wild turkey season opens April 1 in 34 counties on private lands in Game Zones 1-5 and on all WMA land statewide where turkey hunting is allowed. The season closes May 1. Information on the spring turkey season is available from the DNR website at http://www.dnr.sc.gov/wildlife/turkey/index.html.

BOOK BUMP

I read a great deal, and have found it easier to keep my interest if I vary the author as well as the subject. "Backcast" is a fishing story with a different slant. It progresses thru fly-fishing and moments of family dysfunction between a father and son, and the role of the outdoors in their lives. An excellent read.

CLOSING THOUGHT

While fishing I create and am presented many opportunities for success.

I just have to start finishing the day a bit better.

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