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Outdoorsmen Productions LLC

Gary Howey

” IN 2017

Watertown, My Hometown, 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.

June 17, 2024


Growing up in Watertown, S.D., at that time the state was known as the Land of infinite variety, which it really was, with so many things to do, we weren’t ever bored, with the outdoor, offering numerous activities in the outdoors.

When a town is named Watertown, there must be a reason, it was because of all the water in Northeastern South Dakota, the rivers, lakes and other waters that I spent many hours, enjoying the Sioux River as it was just a block away from our house.

In the spring, when the waters rose, you’d find us on the river behind Larrabee’s Furniture, where we fished, spear fished, trapped, and built forts out of the wood the furniture was shipped in.

 The raft was a beauty, so  we thought, with all kinds of room and when the day came to launch it, I climbed aboard first, with the raft sinking down a bit, but brother AJ tried to get on, it sunk even more, he jumped back on the shore, with Rick Small deciding to not attempt to board the raft.

When AJ jumped off, which sent the raft and me out into the heavy current, with the water levels running so high, I had to lay flat on the raft to get under the bridge.

Once past the bridge, everything was flooded, and I and the raft, took off over a flooded pasture, wedging in the top wire of a four-barb wire fence, lucky for me or I might have ended up on Lake Poinsett or another of flooded locations

A garbage hauler coming back from the dump saw me and came to my rescue.

Right then and there, I resolved to never be on the water in such a craft, and more than likely was the reason I chose the Army over the Navy, when I enlisted.

South of home a little over a mile was Lake Pelican, where we spent as much time as we could.

Each of the numerous Parks in Watertown, taught swimming lessons, as this was before the Water Park was built, where we took a short school bus ride on Highway 20 to Lake Kampeska for the lessons.

My infatuation with fishing began catching Bullheads and Northerns by the TEEPEE bridge, a teepee shaped gas station just off of Highway 212 and when I had the opportunity to go pearch fishing with my grandma and grandpa Menkveld.

Then there was our hunting, some of the best, unbelievable, some of the best, with a tremendous Pheasant population, now, I make several trips back each year to hunt and fish with some friends, relatives and some of the guys I graduated with.

Because of all the water and wetlands in Northeast South Dakota, they draw huge Waterfowl migrations, I’ve filmed several duck hunts with Don Fjerstad and other friends.

Over the years we filmed numerous of my “Outdoorsmen Adventures” television shows in the Watertown area, including shows with award winning wildlife artists artist Terry Redlin, John Wilson and Josh Spies.

On one of the shows with Redlin, where we were highlighting vacations events and outdoor activities. Redlin and I agreed that if you’re into the outdoors, Watertown was the place to be.

When my Outdoor Adventures shows were on the Outdoor Channel, I received a lot of callers from viewers, one that really stands out, it was from a gentleman down south who had just finished his medical internship and really into the outdoors, asking my advice as far as a good place for him to start out.

For me, it was a no brainer, I spent a lot of time on the phone with him and he sounded as if he was going to look into it.

The next time I was home, I was telling them about the phone call, when my stepfather Fran, Barkley Mayflower, gave me a strange look and questioned me about it, as he had just moved a new medical person to town, I guess I convinced him that Watertown was the place to be, with excellent people, job opportunities, and the great outdoors has to offer.

With the things I learned and loved as a kid, are still with me and whenever I have an opportunity, I head north, back home to Watertown, to spend time with friends, relatives and classmates as it’s a huge part of me!


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