Bill and the Outdoors

 

Hunting and fishing

I have hunted and fished as long as I can remember.  Being outdoors with God's world and creatures has always been fascinating.

I have had several bird dogs and have spent many hours behind them, both on foot and horseback.  We field trialed for several years when our children were young.  We discovered that we could not afford bird dogs, horses and children in college at the same time.

I have fished for almost everything that swims.  The fishing experience is often better than the catching, but all is fun.  My most interesting trip was to Venezuela several years ago.  If you want, you can read a short story I wrote about this adventure. Fishing trip to Venezuela

My big game hunting has been rather limited.  I went deer hunting several times as a child along with my dad and his friends.  I was not old enough to be trusted hunting by myself.  I usually went with Owen George, who was my God father.  He took me fishing and hunting for the first times.  My dad was a in a busy practice of general medicine, during World War II and had little time for anything else.  As I look back on it, I admire him more for being OK with the across the street neighbor doing for me what a dad usually does.

After finishing medical school, I went deer hunting with my dad in East Texas on a property that is now highly developed.  At that time, it was a cabin by a lake with a lot of woods attached.  It is now called Holly Lake.  I killed a deer on that property in 1961.  My deer hunting was put on the shelf until recently.  I went hunting again in the 1999 season and enjoyed it very much.  I joined two friends on a lease in San Saba county that is like hunting in a game preserve.  The Colorado river ran through the property.  He was heaven for ferral hogs.  The game and fish people, hunting from a helicopter, killed over 200 wild hogs.  They are a menace all over Texas.

I have always had an interest in guns and hand loading.  I have reloaded shotgun, rifle and pistol bullets over the years.  I recently rekindled this interest when the urge to return to deer hunting began.  It give me many hours of fun.  It requires concentration and the willingness to experiment.

In recent years, my various physical infirmities have limited my hunting ability.  I have bad knees and a bad right ankle from a childhood birth abnormality.  I am trying now to find things to do that can be done sitting down.  I was able to enjoy deer hunting again by buying a 4-wheeler.  It has let me go places and do things I have not done in years!

Golf

I have been a golfer for more than 40 years.  I started playing golf when I was a kid in high school over the objections of my father.  Dad said golf was a "game for the idle rich, and we were neither idle nor rich."  He himself tried to learn to play golf at the tender age of 74 after he retired.  Needless to say, he did not become much of a golfer.  I have temporarily given up golf because of my knees.  I will hold on to my clubs, as if and when I decide to have my knees replaced, I may be able to do it again.

I have been playing some golf again.  My friend and neighbor invited me to play with his group on Wednesdays, as a couple men had health problems and have subsequently died.  I am the "baby" of the group.  I had been playing only 4-5 times a year.  I enjoy it very much, especially as we are playing on the course I learned on....Stephen's Park in Oak Cliff.  As I write this (4/6/11)  it is closed for a complete overhaul.  It is supposed to reopen in September.  We played yesterday at Tenison Park.  I had not played there since I was in high school and played on the golf team in a tournament there, probably in 1953 or 1954.  It was terribly windy and I had forgotten how difficult the course is.  There is water on almost every hole.  The greens have almost no grass.  We had fun anyway!

Pistol shooting

While in the Air Force (62-64) I was fortunate to participate in the base pistol team (Brooks AFB).  I spent my half day off each week for about a year shooting on a nearby range.  I became expert enough (Master) to participate in a match at the Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque where I qualified to go to Camp Perry for the all service match.  This brought my shooting career to a halt.  The base commander had to sign my orders sending me to the match.  His comment was "why is our doctor on the pistol team."  He was unhappy with me as I found him to be hypertensive at his last annual physical and refused to bow to his request to ignore it.  As a result, he lost his flying status.  It seems my predecessors had not recorded his elevated blood pressure for several years. 

All I have from this experience is some medals and trophies.  I had a brief experience with the Dallas Pistol Club in the early 70's, but that activity has been on the shelf since.  I am still pretty good with a handgun.

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