a column on my birthday always means writing a column on Halloween.
Pretty strange, sometimes.
gave me the gift of an early snowstorm.
4 a.m. the Saturday before Halloween, I was on a snowy Ozark mountainside
under a bright moon watching my retrievers run wild and listening
to a flock of seemingly confused geese working overhead. I arrived
too early to hunt squirrels, but I knew dawn wouldn't match
such a night; so I hit the woods as early as possible to enjoy a
scene rare in late October.
brought extraordinary beauty. The sun hit the snow on the still-colorful
leaves. I had seen snow on autumn leaves a few times, but that morning
was special, because weather reports suggested that some of the
snow would remain on Halloween morning.
were plentiful in the area. I had spotted a limit of eight squirrels
before the first daylight hour had passed. In my 20s and 30s I made
a habit of always getting a limit on my birthday. But, on this my
53rd birthday, I was satisfied just seeing that many.
I didn't need to take all of them home.
retrievers, of course, wanted all the squirrels in the woods shot.
They actually help find squirrels, but often their immediate rush
to give chase puts a squirrel up a tree and into a hole before I
can get ready to shoot.
love to retrieve squirrels, although not as much as they love to
retrieve ducks. That's why I sometimes take them squirrel
hunting, because I love to watch their excitement when they occasionally
get a chance to grab one of those little gray fuzz balls that drive
them crazy so frequently.
Rock was the place to be the Friday night following Halloween. The
second-annual Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame induction banquet started
with a reception at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7:30. Tickets cost $50
for dinner and a year's membership.
event is much like the fund-raising events held by the Arkansas
Wildlife Federation, Ducks Unlimited, Quail Unlimited, The Wild
Turkey Federation and other conservation groups.
was great food, plenty to drink and numerous opportunities to donate
money and in some cases take home a prize or auction item.
Hall honors outdoor sportsmen, biological scientists and conservationists.
particularly sad fact, however, is that two of the honorees are
not alive for the event. Harold Alexander, however, was alive when
the first Hall induction ceremony was held in 1992. Many of us would
have loved to see him inducted then. But at least he died knowing
he was to be inducted in 1993. No one likely ever will more surely
deserve the honor than did Alexander.
educated many outdoorsmen, writers and other scientists about the
relationships among people, animals and the environment. Many of
the best environmental decisions made in the state in the past few
decades were initiated by Alexander.
concerned about water quality in Arkansas or other aspects of the
environment as it affects people and wildlife ought to become familiar
with the writings of Alexander.
Mosby or another member of the Game and Fish Commission staff can
help guide a reader to some of Alexander's works.
casual walk around Game and Fish Headquarters is all it takes to
find several people who can relate stories about Alexander's
contributions to the state's environment and especially to
the outdoor sportsmen of the state.
ticket information or details of next year's fund-raiser and
induction ceremony, contact Steve G. Smith, director of the Arkansas
Game and Fish Foundation at 223-6396.