I think that all the people who fish and hunt in this state love those sports to the fullest.
This allows them to get in the outdoors, to enjoy nature at its best, and get fresh air. It also permits them to supplement the family's food budget.
This week, I had the pleasure of sharing a few of my squirrels with some senior citizens who can no longer get into the woods because of the complications that go along with being in their golden years.
About two months ago, I talked with a lady who was in her early 90s who told me, "The only thing that is golden in your senior years is your urine."
This could be very true.
When my grandfather was in his senior years, I was very eager to share my squirrels with him. Papa, who lived to be 84, retired from hunting and fishing the last 10 years of his life.
He really enjoyed getting the squirrels, but his only complaint was the way I would dress them out. When he would clean squirrels in his younger day, Papa always kept the head, liver, kidneys and heart. To him the internal organs and the brain were the best parts.
I remember a situation several years ago in a Charleston hospital when a senior citizen patient refused to eat. The hospital dietician talked to him and said she would be willing to prepare whatever he liked if he would eat it. The elderly man's request was most unexpected when he asked for a squirrel fried in butter.
The cook didn't know where she could find a squirrel, but one of the nurses aides was quick to say she had some in her freezer. A day or two later, the elderly gentlemen was enjoying fried squirrel, mashed potatoes with squirrel gravy and biscuits.
I doubt seriously that any hospital today could do this because squirrel or wild game is not USDA inspected meat. This is just one small example how today's hunters can help our senior citizens enjoy their final years.
Just about all sportsmen and women know about the "Hunters Helping the Hungry" program. This setup has provided thousands of pounds of ground venison to families who are living under destitute conditions.
Today, there are tens of thousands of senior citizens who are neither destitute or hungry. Many of them are very well off, but they still long for the taste of the wild game they enjoyed in their younger days.
Right now is the time for all hunters to consider sharing some of their harvest with our seniors. I have been fortunate in the times that when I didn't bag a deer my friends provided me with some venison.
Sharing with the elderly and our friends is a good thing to do, making everyone happy. No one can dispute the fact that hunting season brings in millions of dollars to the state's economy, especially to rural areas like Randolph and all adjoining counties.
I have said in past columns that the people who have never sat down to a squirrel or venison dinner with all the trimmings have really missed out on a meal that is simply delicious.
The annual deer gun season comes in on Nov. 22. When you get that deer this year, think about sharing some of that venison with those who will appreciate it as much as you do. Think about the ones who can no longer go hunting because of health problems, which is no fault of their own.
The good feelings you will have about yourself or within yourself cannot be described.