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Gary Howey

” IN 2017

That Time of the Year Being Thankful By Gary Howey

Entered by Gary Howey

Former tournament angler, hunting and fishing guide. Inducted into the National Freshwater Fishing "Hall of Fame" in 2017. Active member of the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers (AGLOW), Past Executive Director (AGLOW). Howey has been an outdoor communicator since 1980 with his award winning syndicated "Of the Outdoors" columns appearing in magazine, newspapers, and tabloids throughout he upper Midwest and nationally.

December 23, 2016

  The holiday season and especially Christmas is a time to reflect back and truly appreciate all we have, our families, friends, the many opportunities available to us because we live where we do, and for those that have given up so much for us as they serve in our military.

  We should be thankful for so many things, especially our families, our husbands and wives, children, and grandchildren and for those who have been around longer than I have your great-grand kids. Our families, who may have sometimes wondered about us, have been there and who have supported us throughout life, through thick and thin.

  We should be especially thankful for their support over the year and for me, especially the support of a wife, “who has kept the home fires burning” while I was away.

  On my journey, I’ve traveled many miles, yes I was fishing and hunting, but as my good friend Tony Dean once said, “It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it.” 

  For those friends, old, new, some we have lost and those friends we may not yet have meet, those we think of from time-to-time.

Those, whom we may have spent time with in the blinds, peering in the air for the waterfowl flights that may not appear, in the fields walking those many miles in search of pheasants, quail and prairie chicken, on the water waiting for that next bite, those who helped us to create our own outdoor adventures.

  We should be thankful for time spent with friends and family who have passed, remembering those good times we had with them.

  I’m also thankful for the wildlife we have on earth, those animals, birds and fish that have fed and clothed early Americans and for those in the wild today.  These wildlife species aren’t there just for hunters to enjoy, but also hikers, bird watchers, wildlife photographers and nature lovers. Many of these species increase in numbers because of the efforts of hunters and the dollars aid by them in excise taxes on their equipment and their permits.

  Then there’s our Team Outdoorsmen Adventures members who keep us advised on the outdoors in their areas and furnish their time and equipment to put us on the fish and game when things get hot.

  To those who have spent long hours with us, supervising our journey, helping us to get to where we are today, we all should be thankful for.  

  For me, it would be the newspaper editors who’ve had to work with me, the videographers, editors and radio co-hosts who made sense of what I did, wrote and say.

  Then there are the opportunities given in life, the direction our lives have went, where we live and the decisions we’ve made in life.

  We should be thankful for the opportunities we’ve received, in putting our lives together, our occupations, our families,  the people we’ve met and where we’ve ended up in life.

Being thankful can mean many things, one of which is spending time with family and friends in the outdoors. This hunt with family and friends was a hunt several years back in Watertown, S.D.

 I’m thankful to those who’ve made available so many opportunities to me, in life, in business and in the outdoors allowing me to go places; I may have never had the opportunity to be or to see.

  Deer and Turkey hunting in Mississippi, Fly in trips into Canada, Turkey hunting in Missouri, Charter fishing on Lake of the Woods and the fishing on the numerous reservoirs and lakes in the Dakotas are but a few of the opportunities I’m thankful for.

Other things we should be thankful for is we live in a country where we have so many rights other countries don’t have, including the Freedom of religion, Freedom of speech and the Right to bear arms.

  One thing, all American citizens should all be thankful for is that we have individuals who have become part of our armed services, leaving their home and families, those they’ll miss and love.

  The families of our service members should also be respected and assisted as they too are going through hard times, not sure, if or when their service member will come back to them!

  Their family members have made the commitment to become part of our armed services, going into the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and Marines, becoming Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines protecting our country and us.

  Many of these young men and women will eventually go into harm’s way, into areas where some of the people they’re trying to protect despise and hate them.

  These are special people, deserving of our respect and total support, no matter what your political is, or what your nationality or ethnicity is.  They are patriotic individuals doing a job that only a small part of the U.S. population has ever undertaken. 

  While we’re decorating our homes, giving gifts, spending time with family, having a huge holiday feast, they’re far away from home and family during the holidays.

  Our service members are spending their holidays in inhospitable climates hunkering down in foxholes, bunkers, guard towers or other unpleasant places, grabbing what some sleep whenever possible and having to eat dehydrated meals from a plastic and metal foiled pouch.

  Many times, they’re doing an unpleasant job, in inhospitable places, protecting not only our rights, at the same time protecting our country, being a deterrent which makes those countries and individuals that hate us, think twice before coming against us.

   We all have so much to be thankful for throughout the year, but especially this time of year, when we should take time to think about those things and be thankful for them every day of the year!

  My family and I wish you and your families a Very Merry Christmas and a Great 2017!

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