Lindsay Persico: Bannack High Country Antelope

1lFast paced, action packed fun…that is what this long awaited antelope hunt turned out to be. For months, my husband, father and I were anticipating the adventure. Finally, the day arrived to set out in search of the prairie goat. We left our home at 3:00 AM in order to make the four hour drive. We wanted to get to the sage covered country where the deer and the antelope play, by shooting light.          
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Puzzle Pieces by Lindsay Persico

Lindsay Persico writes about “hunting and existing outdoors” in her Blog, Huntfiber.

“My love of hunting began as a little girl as I watched my daddy head out on hunting trips and later packed my own gear along and headed out with him. He taught me so much and really helped me develop my love for wildlife and the outdoors.”

As Lindsay describes her Fathers influence on her passion for hunting, I think back to my summers on the Lake in Odessa and my Uncles influence on mine. It seems to be for Lindsay as it was for me, not simply about the taking of life, but, in fact, about the many enduring lessons of it that we take from those experiences. In the process we get closer to who we really are as human beings which is about as close to the natural order as we will ever get. This is the draw that leads to such a passion.

“I want to share my love and experiences with others and show the world that a regular girl can be an avid and successful hunter on public land.” Continue reading

Brian Bakers Blackwater Buck

IMG956962 (3)If you have ever fished the Florida Panhandle for big bucketmouths, you know what pressure is. The bass population is healthy and there are plenty of good spots to get in to,  but more than a fair share of competition throughout the year despite the fact that the western Panhandle is not necessarily known for its bass fishing. But for Milton resident, Brian Baker, the panhandle has all the “right stuff”. He’s been hunting and fishing this area all of his life which has probably been a factor to his enduring success in the field. His secret? Know what right feels like (although he would probably tell you that it’s not really a secret). And maybe it’s not that simple for the rest of us, but on Brians turf, that’s what its all about. Part of his turf is Blackwater, a reoccurring location in some of his greatest experiences.
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The Lake

I have always had a love affair with the great outdoors. I used to spend my summers in Tampa with family and it gave me ample opportunity to experience it, especially with my Uncle Paul and Aunt Gladys. Their home was nestled behind an orange grove just off of Gunn Highway in Odessa Florida, set against the backdrop of a beautiful body of water, aptly named Lake Calm. I have many wonderful memories of this place…of fishing, swimming and just experiencing nature in such a way that would rival the adventures of Huck Finn himself.

Most mornings on the lake, I was up at the crack of daylight and out the door to the dock. I would have recovered all of my catch from the night before and have fresh lines in the water before Aunt Gladys left for work. I was barely six years old when I started fishing on that lake and before I was ten, I was paddling a boat hundreds of yards out and back before most people even got up out of bed. I had become a skilled fisherman at a very early age and I cannot think of many things I would have rather done at that age than fish. But even more vivid than fishing in my memories of the Lake, I can recall the friendly and sometimes animated atmosphere, much like Mr Rogers neighborhood, with warm and unique characters that brought the entire place to life. There was Ginger, the very old and blind wire-haired wiener dog…and Charlie, a black German Shepherd. They followed me around that place like a couple of keystone cops trailing a suspect, Ginger constantly bumping into things and Charlie stopping every few steps to scratch the itchy dermatitis that plagued his backside. Bonnie and Mr. Fritz lived next door and Mr. Bob lived on the other side next to them. He once raised a couple of young raccoons that he had caught in a tree in his yard and I would go over and visit from time to time, just because they were fun to watch.  Mr. James Eady was another good friend of Uncle Pauls who lived on another smaller Lake nearby. James taught me how to make an incubator out of a golf ball bucket with a light bulb and how to clean a turtle for turtle stew. When I would catch big snapping turtles on the Lake, we would take them to James and he would clean and cook them. I miss the smell of turtle stew! Then there was Mr. and Mrs. Creighton. Mrs. Creighton was sort of like Mrs. Howell on Gilligans Island, only a bit more eccentric. I rarely heard Mr. Creighton say much more than two words…yes dear. There were a few other folks around the Lake that I knew but these were the main characters that made up Uncle Paul’s neighborhood. TBC 😉

Mr Fritz and Bonnie

The little trail that led through the orange grove to the Jeske house was called Bonnie Cove Lane and was named after Bonnie Lutz who lived just next door to my Aunt and Uncle. Bonnie and her husband, Mr. Fritz, were a jolly old couple who I am still reminded of today every time I see Grandma and Grandpa on old reruns of the coke1Walton’s. Every morning and again in the afternoon, Uncle Paul, Ginger, Charlie and I would walk the trail to see Mr. Fritz and Bonnie, and we would all sit under the shade of a massive old oak tree while I would fill them in on all of the adventures of my day. No matter what time of the day it was, all three grown-ups would take a time out for a Pabst Blue Ribbon.  Bonnie would wrap it in paper towel and I wondered sometimes if she thought that she was hiding something from me. Ginger and Charlie would get their treat and I would get an ice cold Coca Cola, unwrapped of course. Nothing to hide there.

The Coke in those days came in the old six and a half ounce embossed bottles and we would play a game where everyone would try to guess the name of the bottling plant city that was embossed on the bottom. I think Mr. Fritz would always get a peek before we came over because he always seemed to guess the right answer. When it was my turn to guess, whether I was right or wrong, the prize was usually a lady finger banana, which he picked from a bunch right off of the tree in their yard. They were small but were the sweetest bananas I ever ate.

I truly loved to visit them and sometimes twice a day was not enough. If I caught a really big fish and Uncle Paul was not within eye shot, I would run with all my might to see Mr Fritz and Bonnie. Having never had living Grandparents, I loved those two people as if they were my own.

We lost Mr. Fritz sometime around 1975. I remember going to see him while he was in the hospital and though I did not get to go in to the room, I was excited that he knew I was there. As we were leaving, I looked up at his third floor room and saw him come to the window and wave at me. It was the last time I would see him alive.

I continued to go to see Bonnie, though less frequently, but it was never quite the same without Mr. Fritz. Bonnie became a little grumpier and I grew to be a little harder to entertain.  Still, on the days that we would visit, there was always an open chair and it was as if Mr. Fritz was still there with us, drinking his beer and enjoying good company under the shade of that old oak tree.

Accepting Submissions

We are currently accepting submissions for Outdoor related content.  This is a dedicated search for future regular and periodic contributors to a new regionally oriented bi-monthly publication franchise scheduled for digital release in November 2013 and in print format in July-Aug of 2014.

Category: Outdoor Writer/Blogger
Status: Part time/Contributor
Compensation: Regular and Periodic Contributors will be selected from submissions which may present opportunities as a staff writer. Selection will be based on quality, diversity of topics and consist writing skills.

Description
The ideal candidate for this job would have some experience with outdoors writing/blogging in the Southeastern United States, however, we will consider articles from writers in other regional locations. Anyone with experience creating Outdoor related content may apply.

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How I Met My Hobby

I have always had fascination with taxidermy. It is no doubt a product of my deep love of the outdoors, of hunting andTinymite fishing as boy as far back as I can remember. I think the first time I ever really noticed was at my Aunt and Uncles house in Odessa Florida. Uncle Paul had several large bass mounted on the wall which made an impression on me though it was not really the taxidermy that fascinated me so much back then, but rather the drive to catch one of my own.  Like any other fishing enthusiast, it was “the big one” that I was after and those fish on the wall represented the ones that didn’t get away from someone else.

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The Lake

I have always had a love affair with the great outdoors. I used to spend my summers in Tampa with family and it gave me ample opportunity to experience it, especially with my Uncle Paul and Aunt Gladys. Their home was nestled behind an orange grove just off of Gunn Highway in Odessa Florida, set against the backdrop of a beautiful body of water, aptly named Lake Calm. I have many
wonderful memories of this place, of fishing, swimming and just experiencing nature in such a way that would rival the adventures of ole Huck Finn himself.

Continue Reading >