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Fishermen, hunters all too familiar with hoarding

You've probably seen the program on the tube about hoarding.

Well, if this was ever televised for sportsmen, we would be deported faster than immigrants crossing the border. Everyone who has ever known a hunter or a fishermen knows this is a matter of discipline, having the latest and greatest before your neighbor reserves certain bragging rights.

I am far from removed in this malady.

Last week, I came across some old fly-tying equipment that had been hidden away. My wife said she smelled something a few months back, and I decided to investigate. As it turns out, fly-tying hackle, furs and feathers have a tendency to smell after a period of time. Another example of buying too much and not knowing what you already own.

I've mentioned this before, and now it appears my habits have rubbed off on those near and dear to me. Take the case with my friend Ken -- "I have more guns than I can possibly use and am constantly buying more," he said.

When I asked the number, he said "31 and some very nice slings." I told him to get rid of the slings.

Manufacturers know we do this, and it's why they are constantly developing new packaging and advertisement to part us with our hard-earned dollars. The forgotten reaches of our brains ought to tell us there is really nothing new; it's just better dressed and a bit more shiny.

Lately we have been victimized by merchandisers by having to read labels, which is no longer exclusive to buying groceries. Many imports are not eco-friendly, so we fall prey to environmentalists whenever the package is opened.

Inferior products now flood the market for outdoorsmen. Poor shot, bad paper and plastic haunt the hunter, as do lead paint and inferior rubber for the fisherman.

Caveat emptor -- the Latin phrase for "Let the buyer beware," -- applies even if the purchase is "as is" or when a defect is obvious upon reasonable inspection before purchase. It's our choice as to whether the price reflects the quality or our conscience.

On your next buying spree, refresh your memory before leaving the house, and you might realize you already have what you need and two of everything else.

With Father's Day on Sunday, drop a few hints that relate to your sport but might prove a bit more practical. A few useful items include those that have an outdoor theme but do not necessarily have to be carried into the woods or on the water.

Items such as desk clocks, magazine subscriptions, game tickets, cameras, outdoor apparel or a good pair of sunglasses fit the bill nicely without adding more clutter to your arsenal.


Anglers from the lower part of the state showed they are ready to challenge the best and come away winners last weekend in Georgetown, where captain James Lane's boat "Gas Money" took the top prize in the Tailwalker Marine Offshore Challenge Kingfish Tournament.

Angler Wes Chappell hauled in the winning fish -- a 40-pounder -- with crew member Keith Lewis manning the gaff while Collins Lane kept the boat on course.

Other local anglers placing in the top 20 included: Bert Harvey's "Juggernaut" in 14th, Fred Larsen's "Miracle" in 19th and E.M. Russell Jr.'s "Sweet Sarah IV" in 20th.


Stay away from Swivels if fishing grass or weed lines. The reason: They snag and hold onto debris and, more often than not, fish in limited-vision areas will strike at the clump of grass rather than your bait or lure.