Outdoor columnist turning to readers for hunting, fishing stories

Published 8:34 am Friday, September 10, 2010

By Bob Rudzik

Welcome, fellow hunters and anglers.

I don’t know about you, but I feel more comfortable in the field than in any mall, amusement park, beach, or at work. I find wild animals easier to understand than most people, except for my sweetheart. She’s the managing editor of The Tidewater News and asked me to write this column for the new weekly Outdoors page. Since I can’t say no to her, let’s get started.

I have been a fisherman, hunter and outdoor enthusiast since the age of, maybe, 6. Since I am going to be 51 very soon, that gives me 45 years of personal experience to draw from.

Let’s be frank; this is my only qualification for this assignment. My first column is going to be titled “HELP.”

My vision is to give you an idea of what is going to be happening, what is happening, where it might be happening, things you might want to think about, things everyone should be thinking about and who might be of further assistance to us all. I’m not asking you to give away the exact location of your honey holes or where the big one has been seen, but I do need your eyes and ears.

Just like most of you, I have a job that pays the bills, and I am writing this column to support my two loves. So, please e-mail me information that would be worth passing along to a father who wants to take his children fishing for the first time, or the mom who has no idea about the outdoors, but whose kids are begging her to go hunting with them. My e-mail address is greyhound77@cox.net.

In this column, I will include news and information from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries as well as the Department of Forestry.

Also, send in your questions. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll try to find someone who does. I’d also be interested in receiving pictures of your successful hunting and fishing trips — no need in sending unsuccessful ones. If we’re lucky, maybe The Tidewater News will do an article on it.

How about a recipe to die for; I always like those. Hunt clubs — now is your chance to brag a little.

I want to at least mention one thing in this first column: Please be safe while in the field. Use flourescent orange properly, make sure you have life jackets for everyone, double check that firearm, listen to the weather reports and be thoughtful of our environment. My grandfather always said he liked to become transparent when in the field; when he went home he didn’t want anyone to know he had been there. Carry out what you carry in and one more piece if you find it.

Here is my subject matter: “Help” me make this a weekly column that we look forward to reading every week. I’ll try not to let you, or my sweetheart, down. I will be out in the field. I’ll try to get around to the hot spots and do some actual field reporting, but it is your information that is going to make this column work. From what I’m told, this is a permanent assignment, so the sooner I get it right, the better informed we will be.

The area covered by The Tidewater News holds some of the best hunting and fishing spots within 1,000 miles. Hunting and fishing can be a huge financial lift to this community, and it is one of the many opportunities we have going for us. I would consider running information on commercial hunting and fishing operations as well as our private and non-profit efforts.

Oh yes, one more thing. Youth Deer Hunting Day is Sept. 25. Take someone you love and show him or her your second love.