Seventy-five years. Three quarters of a century. That’s how long I have been around.
I remember little or nothing about the first 10 years. It was about that time my mom taught me how to shoot a .410 single shot for hunting pheasants in South Dakota. That was the start of my hunting adventures. Dad taught me how to fish by letting me row him around the lake while he tossed lures.
The next six years or so flew by with little in the way of excitement. Then, Susie’s dad and my dad took us on our first date.
Not very common for dads to take their kids on their first date. We went to Sun Valley Speedway in Anderson to watch the figure 8 races.
Another five years, after we both graduated from Purdue, Susie and I got married. We started vacationing in Ontario, Canada shortly after on hunting and fishing trips. Our daughter, Angi, was born in 1974.
In 1985, I went back to Canada on a moose hunt. I was successful at bagging one of these big critters with a .35 Remington. We found moose meat to be one of the best tasting meats we ever tried.
A couple years later I returned and took a black bear with my bow. After we came home, we fixed bear roast with potatoes, carrots, gravy, etc. We never told our family what they were eating and they all thought it was great.
Susie went with me to Wyoming on a pronghorn hunt 20 years ago. Once again, I was trying to bag a big game animal with a bow and arrow. Susie and my guide were sitting in the truck on a hill watching me in the valley below. I was in a sagebrush blind when two bucks came running up fighting. They stopped about 10 yards away and I arrowed one. After a waiting period, it was officially measured and my pronghorn was big enough to go in the Pope and Young Record Book.
That was basically the end of my successful big game hunts.
Hunting was not high on Susie’s list, but she really liked fishing.
As we traveled the country gathering stories for my newspaper and magazine stories, I always tried to schedule a fishing trip in the area.
Some of our greatest outings were a deep sea fishing trip during which she caught a 25-pound wahoo.
Lake of the Woods, Minnesota was (and is) great and she landed a 30-inch sturgeon (a big fish, but a small sturgeon), a nine pound walleye, and numerous dinners consisting of smaller walleye.
The lower Niagara River is one of our favorite fishing spots.
On one trip, three of us were fishing and we had three fighters on at one time. I brought in a 10-pound sturgeon, another guy landed a 20-pound sturgeon, and Susie boated a 20-pound salmon. Fifty pounds of fish at one time! She also caught another nine pound walleye.
Just downstream and around the corner into Lake Ontario, we landed a mess of 10-plus pound salmon with our daughter and grandson. Angi brought in a 30-pound salmon, which is now mounted on the wall.
On nearby Chautauqua Lake in eastern New York, I was fishing for smallmouth bass on light tackle and six-pound line. After a long fight, I was able to put a 41-inch musky in the boat.
I guess, just 10 years ago, Susie and I went on our biggest big game hunt ever.
We were with the Indianapolis Children’s Museum searching for dinosaur bones in northwest South Dakota. We did this for six summers and uncovered many 65 million year old bones.
We started metal detecting together in 1978 and have been enjoying this hobby across the country (and Canada) since then. We have taken Angi and our grandson, Benjamin, detecting since each one was 5 years old. We are still doing this and probably will continue as long as I can walk.
And while on the subject of walking, I have to let you know in my younger days, I walked the Appalachian Trail, in both directions. To be completely honest, we were in West Virginia and our guide took us to the Trail. I did walk about 100 yards in each direction, so I did hike it both ways.
Because of my membership in several Outdoor Writer’s organization, we have attended numerous yearly conventions and enjoyed seeing much of this country at these events. At last count, we have visited 34 states and three Canadian provinces.
Hopefully, I still have 10 or 15 years to add to this list of adventures.
Rich Creason is an award-winning outdoors and travel writer whose work has appeared in local, regional, national and international publications for 40 years. Born in Anderson, he is a graduate of Markleville High School. He lives in South Madison County with his wife, Susie. He may be contacted at [email protected]