Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Texas Hunting and Outdoor Legacy

I grew up in a family where everyone hunted. Both sets of grandparents had ranches in the Hill Country of Texas so the kids all came to help on weekends. My cousins, uncles, aunts and parents all hunted. We spent holidays at one or the other ranches and all the kids wanted guns for Christmas. There were members of the family that were unbelievable outdoorsman. Some specialized in deer, other fishing or varmint hunting. Some trapped and some ran packs of hounds. I killed my first deer at six years of age with a model 1894 Winchester in 25-35, a relic of the past now gone. I realize now that I grew up in a special time. It was a time where kids could roam neighborhoods or go to the country and be safe. A time where parents trusted their children, where law enforcement officers were public servants and national pride was rampant. At school we had kids of different colors and from different countries but we were all Americans and we all spoke English. We started the day with a prayer and the pledge of allegiance. I can remember half of my class being gone on the first day of hunting season or the first Monday after hunting season opened. We would bring pictures of our hunt and even guns to show and tell at school and no one had a problem with it. We all carried pocket knives and no one got stabbed. Later we all had gun racks in our vehicles with guns in them and no one got shot. I can remember in High school lots of us boys going hunting after school straight from the school parking lot. Sometimes our coaches or teachers even went with us.
Times have sure changed and I for one am saddened that those times are gone forever. My grandkids will not have prayer at school and very little of the pledge of allegiance. There is hardly any national pride anymore. I attended an honors program at a public school not long ago and was shocked when the pledge of allegiance was conducted and about a third of the audience stayed seated, very few put their hand over their heart and very few knew the words. As I looked around I noticed most of those seated were people that have been allowed to come to this country as immigrants. My ancestors came as legal immigrants and they became Americans, then Texans, and had a great pride in both. It is a sad time for Texas and America.
I hope that you try and pass on the legacy of hunting that we have here in Texas. I pray that you pass on the legacy and pride of being Texan. I also pray that you teach your children what it means to be an American and do not give in to this multi nationality, multi lingual and multi culture that can result in only no pride in anything. We better work to change this now if it is not already too late.
God bless Texas and the USA, Wild Ed

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