Outdoors: Why not take a kid fishing and/or trapping?

My body hurt all over.

I am an underbalanced old man, and I had been living the life of a 16-year-old for about a week. Some time ago, a grandfather called me and asked me to take his grandson fishing. I had to make time for him, as my great grandkids are at the age that they also are ready to start an outdoor excursion.

Well, both the grandpa and the kid really enjoyed me taking an interest in him, and he learned well. We caught lots of fish, and when hunting seasons rolled around, I helped him pass his hunter’s safety class. After that, he killed his first Canada goose, squirrel and mourning dove. We even picked up a few fossils and some very old Indian relics. We then did some mushroom hunting.

I got a call from one of his teachers from the elementary school on how well he knew nature. She commended me on my teachings and asked me to come and speak at one of her class sessions. I was impressed, as the whole class was out in the playground and gave me applause as I approached the building. Of course, most of the students had a multitude of questions, especially on herbivores and carnivores. I really enjoyed the visit, and they made me promise that I would return some day.

Since that day, I have been in the company of other kids who want to hunt and fish. Some even wanted to learn how to run a trapline. Also, I have been asked to speak at many of the local Rotary meetings. I was surprised that many of the adults had some of the same questions as the kids.

It sure seems to me that many of our adult folks are very removed from nature. I even had one conservation police officer that was amazed that I had a trapping license. He never had seen one before, even though he had been employed by the state for four years.

Yes, I am an old man with his memories. If I pass away soon, everything I have learned in life might also pass away. However, the knowledge I have passed on hopefully will live on in the mind of another human being.

Hopefully, again, as my dad used to say, “No one is really gone if someone still says his name.” I still miss him in the boat with me, so his theory is correct.

If that young person someday shares his knowledge about me, I believe that would be more than anyone could ask for.

Hunting report

Some folks are still shed hunting; that is, looking for antlers that have been dropped off by buck deer. Some racks have been chewed on by rodents, and others are still in good shape.

Fishing report

Don’t forget to purchase your new licenses, as they were due April 1. River fishing remains very slow due to stained water. I think most of the mud is coming from Indiana, down the Kankakee River and its tributaries. They have had a lot of rain lately. Most of the Kankakee has been channelized, and this contributes to high siltation.

Hope everyone had a Happy Easter.

Fred Krause

Fred is an avid outdoorsman who has been writing about his passion for decades.