One of the most enjoyable aspects of being an outdoorsman (or woman) is the variety of experiences. Life is never static. The bad weather in fall and winter finds us out in the field hunting our favorite wild game. Spring and summer bring good weather and a variety of outdoor opportunities for everyone.
Usually our outdoor hunting experiences reward us for our efforts. Sometimes the reward is just being in the outdoors – enjoying the sunrise, watching the marsh come to life, and bonding with those with us (whether a hunting buddy or a favorite retriever). Sometimes the reward is the physical activity. More often than not we receive another reward: we might actually bag a few of the game species we are hunting. Then, a whole new experience will unfold: cooking and eating our game together with hunting buddies, friends, and family.
Wild game can be prepared and enjoyed any time. In the year following the hunting season, many families enjoy the rewards of the fall as part of the weekly dinner menu. Wild game feeds are common–hunters get together, enjoy the feast, and brag about the great experience they had in the field.
I hunt and fish all year. In the fall and winter, my passion is waterfowl hunting, though I also like to hunt doves and pheasants. In the spring and summer, my favorite activity is black bass fishing. Having a second home at Clear Lake affords me the opportunity to fish at one of the best bass fishing lakes in the nation. I also go after striped bass, trout, salmon, steelhead, shad, crappie and bluegill.
The end result of my outdoor endeavors is a full freezer and a lot of memories. I share my wild game, mainly ducks, with friends that love eating it but do not have the opportunity to hunt.
We are very fortunate to live in a state where outdoor opportunities are plentiful. The outdoors allows us to engage in a healthier life–exercise and a bounty of nutritious food. Most fish and game is very lean, not much fat and lots of protein… certainly healthier than a McDonald’s burger and fries.
We are also fortunate to have California Waterfowl Association (CWA) representing outdoors men and women in its quest to preserve, protect, and enhance our waterfowl resources, wetlands, and associated outdoor heritage.