View from the Cab: The great outdoors
By: Kent Casson
It’s no surprise that the number of hunting licenses have soared as more Americans head out to the great outdoors during a pandemic.
A recent report from the Associated Press indicates sales of fishing and hunting licenses have spiked across much of the country as many are getting weary of being stuck inside their homes. Others are tired of social distancing and mask wearing so getting in touch with nature seems to be the perfect escape.
There was actually a decline in hunting’s popularity previously but that trend has suddenly been reversed. Hunting not only serves as a sport but can serve as a source of food for those food banks and families impacted by COVID-19. In neighboring Michigan, the number of first-time hunters getting licenses jumped 80 percent to over 84,000. Almost 545,000 purchased licenses through early November which is about a 10 percent jump over the previous year at this time.
One of my resolutions for 2021 will be to enjoy the outdoors more. I tend to get too busy with work and everyday life to take in the small stuff. The kids and I will go fishing when the weather turns nice again – we just need to take the time. I have many fond memories of hunting and fishing as a kid. The thrill of catching that big catfish is a feeling you always remember. I hope to also take Kasen hunting one of these days. The time spent together out in the timber will be priceless, I’m sure.
You can even enjoy the wonderful outdoors here in Illinois without fishing or hunting. Take a hike at a state or county park. Our favorites are Comlara Park and Moraine View State Park in McLean County. After a spring of quarantining, our family had a picnic lunch near the lake, enjoyed the playground equipment and took a little walk through the trees. The fried chicken made things even better on that June day! It’s amazing what a little nature can do for the soul.
If you want to make it even simpler, just take a peek out the back door one of these late autumn evenings. You will likely see a sunset like you have never seen before. The sky is full of colors and a sense of calmness fills the air. This is one of the best feelings ever.
Don’t let Old Man Winter stop you from venturing outside in the coming months. Our kids think it is fun when snow covers the ground. In fact, they can spend hours building a snowman or fort before realizing they are cold.