Minden Press-Herald

Sep 30th

The good, bad and ugly of 2012

I know; it's trite and probably overused to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly. However, that pretty well sums up the year for me as I covered the 2012 outdoors beat for my readers/listeners. Thankfully, the good outweighed the bad and ugly.

FEBRUARY 23-26 – Give these four days a big gold star; sitting firmly in the "good" column. I accepted an invitation to join a group of writers for a "fam" trip to Wisconsin. Why in the world would I want to go way up there to the north country in the dead of winter? I signed on for one reason; the chance to try ice fishing.

Getting to fish through a hole in the ice has been on my "bucket list" for a long time and when the chance came, I jumped at it, and it was everything I hoped it would be.

We set up shop on the frozen Bay of Green Bay in a warm and cozy fishing shack. Dangling small gold spoons through holes drilled in the ice, we caught white fish. The weather outside was frightful with snow falling and freezing temperatures but in the shack, it was 65 degrees, thanks to a propane heater mounted on the wall.

MARCH 5-7 – This annual trip I get to make to the White River in north Arkansas is something I look forward to every year and this year was no exception. The trout were cooperative, the accommodations and hospitality of Gaston's White River Resort were top-shelf, definitely earning a "good" rating.

MARCH 22-26 – Into each life some rain must fall so the story goes and boy, did I have a deluge during this period of my life. On March 22, I knew something was wrong – shortness of breath and pain in my jaw flat-out scared me to the point I had Kay drive me to the hospital. A heart cath confirmed I had significant blockage in four arteries; surgery was performed March 26. Surgery was successful and I was released from the hospital April 2. The recovery period was slow but steady and every day a tiny bit better than the previous. I felt well enough on April 4 to write my first column after surgery.

This period in my life gets a "bad" mark, not only for having to have heart surgery but turkey season opened two days prior to surgery and I missed the whole shebang, dadgum it.

AUGUST 9-12 – The annual conference of the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association was held in Chalmette and Kay and I drove down for this fun-filled event. One of the highlights was a fishing trip to Hopedale where we fished for speckled trout. Thanks to the expertise of our guide, the action was non-stop, and the filets I brought home were oh-so good.

SEPTEMBER 25-29 – I boarded a plane and flew to Johnson City, TN to attend the annual conference of the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association. The highlight of this trip was a shooting competition sponsored by Mossberg. Ordinarily when other shooters are watching me, I can't hit the broad side of a barn. However on this day, I was on my game and came home with a new shotgun awarded the winner of the competition.

OCTOBER 9-12 – I was among a group of writers invited by the Louisiana North group out of Shreveport for a fishing "fam" trip around the north half of the state. Catching crappie in Toledo Bend and catfish on Caddo Lake were highlights of the trip.

DECEMBER 19-21 – I must be living right because I got invited to yet another "fam" trip to Lake Charles to duck hunt and fish. Both activities were way up there in the "good" category as we got limits of ducks both mornings and near limits of redfish one afternoon.

I've shared the "good" and "bad". What about the "ugly"? That took place on my last day in Lake Charles when I dropped my sweet little Pentax camera into the brackish duck pond killing it deader than the pintail drake I shot with my new shotgun. As I write this on Christmas eve, maybe I've dropped enough hints to find a new camera under the tree. Stay tuned....and Happy New Year.

Glynn Harris Outdoors is proudly sponsored by DSK, Ltd. of Minden.






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