June 10, 2014

For The Love Of The Outdoors

As a kid I remember my mother telling me: "When you grow up you need to pick a profession that you love."  She preached it through my young adulthood and in the end I was basically forced in to going to Refrigeration and Heating Servicing Technical School to work with my uncle the plumber.  I had zero aptitude in this field and was even actually afraid of electricity.  I remember being an average student at best and not trying hard and fearing college.

Warping forward two years out of high school I enlisted in the Army to be a military policeman.  I actually wanted to be a game warden and being a military policeman was as close as I could get.

My first real assignment was to Fort Lewis Washington.  It was a giant post and I was intimidated by it.  There was a posting on the company bulletin board asking for volunteers to do temporary duty in Yakima Firing Center.  One of the positions available was Military Game Warden.  I jumped at the possibility. I hunted and fished during my off hours like nuts.  I truly love the outdoors.

The post was tiny and quite slow during the winter.  I was not a high enough rank to get the game warden job but I helped the SGT in the position.  He transferred out and I was given his position on a temporary basis.  Fourteen months later I was still in the position.  I really loved the assignment.  I got real satisfaction from the job and it made me feel important and I was doing something that really mattered.

September of 1978 I received orders to go Germany.  There were no military game wardens there.  I researched Germany and found out the best hunting and fishing there was in the south.  The only post that had military police down there was Augsburg, Germany.  I asked to be assigned there and got it.

Hunting and fishing in Germany is a rich man's sport and I spent my six years there yearning to go in to the outdoors there.  My only relief was going back to the states on leave to deer hunt every year and to go trout fishing on leave every may opener.  I might have stayed in the military as a MP except for the orders to go to Drill Sergeant School.  I couldn't get them changed so I got out.

I took a few college course during the time I was in the army and thought I still wanted to be a warden when I got out in 1984.  I spoke to a a military out processing person at Fort Dix, New Jersey about being a civilian game warden.

 He dissuaded me from trying to be a game warden and to go in to law enforcement.  He explained that there are ten times as many cops as wardens in the civilian world and I could be a cop with a two year degree and I needed a four year degree at minimum to be a warden.

Halfway through my first year of going to school for an associate degree in Criminal Justice I took a full time night shift job at a small police department.  I worked full time midnights and went to school full time for the remaining year of college.  I graduated first in my class in my Associate Degree and first in my Police Academy.  I still went hunting and fishing every chance I could.

I finally got what I thought was my dream job at a huge Sheriff's Department.  I worked there for fourteen years.  The only constant during all these years of working as a cop was me going in to the outdoors every chance I got to cleanse.  Law Enforcement is a stressful job and in 2003 I decided I really wasn't fit to do the job.  I didn't have the tools to do the job properly.  I got out of law enforcement with almost 24 years in.  I cashed out my retirement fund and paid all of my bills off.

I tried guiding for five years.  Making your passion your work is a bad job choice.  I had some good times with clients and made many friends as a guide.  There was something about guiding that really rubbed me the wrong way.  Being a guide you don't fish.  You watch people fish.  It was like going to a gold mine without a shovel.

 I was Case Manager at two halfway houses here in town for five years.  I supervised folks directly out of prison for various offenses.  It also was not my calling.  I could set my own hours and fishing took center stage every chance I had.

I am retired now.  My advice to young folks would be to chase your dreams and to not be deterred by relatives and the fear of four years of college.  If you want to be a warden or a fisheries person do it for the love of the outdoors and don't lose your way.

Already Planning Next Year's Vacation


Four Driftless Species

Book Still On Schedule

Will still be released in September.  Will have it to the publisher by the end of June.

Big Difference

Last year about now I purchased a Ruger SP101.  The first thing I did was put a bigger grip on it.  The handle was still too small so I decided a new pistol was in order.  I sold the pistol on the right.

My Ruger Alaskan is much easier to handle and my accuracy is much better.  I went from Remington rounds to Hornady rounds.  The 357 were 125 grain and the 44 mags are 240 grain.

The pistol is not a bear to handle like I was told.

PCB and Big Easy Next Week

This time next week we will be en-route New Orleans.  We will stop in Memphis as a pit stop.  Then off to stay the night a half a block off of Bourbon Street.

After some seafood we head to Panama City Beach for a few days.  This could be our retirement town in a few years.  I am going to see if oysters on the half shell are still awesome and also check out if my butt feels comfortable on the pier there to fish away my days of retirement.
I will for sure make sure there is an empty table at the Hof Brau Haus for me too.
We may stop in St. Louis on the way home.


June 09, 2014


New Glarus Brunch Yesterday!


Best Swiss fun in the midwest.

Enjoyed our Sunday with are two good friends Jess and Stephanie Johnson from Viroqua.
I highly recommend a Sunday walk in New Glarus sight seeing and the New Glarus Hotel's brunch.

Chris Young In Brookie Heaven

Chris Young in the "Heart" of the driftless
click above link

When one thinks or maybe even dreams of the perfect driftless stream for brook trout.  this comes to mind.  Great capture Chris!