Some resolutions for making 2000 better for the Great Outdoors

As is usually the case at the end of each year, many people make resolutions to begin each new year with high expectations of personal changes or improvements.

However, with the year 2000 marking the beginning of a new millennium, those resolutions could be much more meaningful than in the past.

So with that thought in mine, here are some resolutions as proposed by Don Q:

I propose that:

1. More people resolve to become involved in the many different organized sportsmen's clubs in this general area.

Those clubs include such fine groups as: The Carson Flyfishing Club, Carson Valley Chukar Club, Clear Creek Bowmen, Ducks Unlimited, Eagle Valley Muzzleloaders Club, High Sierra Flycasters Club, Nevada Bighorns Unlimited, Nevada Public Lands Access Coalition, Nevada Wildlife Federation, Ormsby Sportsmen's Association, Quail Unlimited, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Trout Unlimited, etc.

Pick an organization that you like, contact them and become involved. You won't go wrong. More importantly, our state's wildlife and its habitat will benefit from your joining.

2. More people resolve to take an active interest in becoming involved in such great activities as:

The annual Kids Fishing Derby at Lampe Park in Gardnerville, which gives some 2,400 youngsters a chance to catch impressive sized trout. For many of the youngsters, it's the first opportunity that they have ever had to go fishing.

The Nevada Division of Wildlife (NDOW) Hunter Education Program, which is required for anyone born after Dec. 31, 1959, who is seeking a Nevada hunting license. Among the subjects taught by volunteers are conservation, first-aid, hunter ethics, safe handling of firearms and wilderness survival.

Various other NDOW volunteer programs including re-seeding areas burned by range fires, planting trout in our lakes, streams and rivers and building rain-water collectors known as "guzzlers." NDOW could use your help.

3. More Nevadans resolve to take an active part in stopping the poaching of Nevada's wildlife. When some idiot illegally takes any of our big game, upland game, birds, fish or furbearers, that criminal is stealing your wildlife from you. Regardless of whether you hunt or fish or you are someone who does not hunt or fish, we should all work together to eliminate that type of illegal activity. So, if you see something that does not look proper, take the time to note details and then call the Operation Game Thief (OGT) 24-hour Hotline at (800) 992-3030. By doing so, you can collect rewards, remain anonymous and protect our wildlife.

4. More people resolve to take an active part in reducing or eliminating litter in the Great Outdoors. I find it constantly amazing that some people are such pigs when it comes to littering in the outdoors. Why is it that they will carry a full can of beer into some remote location, but the empty can is too heavy to carry back out? Most amazing, I have never heard of anyone ever getting apprehended, cited, convicted and fined for littering! If you should see someone littering, take the time to note details and then call the Operation Game Thief (OGT) 24-hour Hotline at (800) 992-3030.

5. Archers, black-powder shooters, pistol shooters and rifle hunters resolve to end their bickering and work together as a unified team for the better of Nevada's hunting opportunities.

All of them need to remember a very sobering and important statistic: Nationwide, nine out of every ten people do not hunt and that 90 percent fall into one of these three categories: Those who do not hunt by their own choice, those who are opposed to hunting and those who don't care one way or the other.

6. Fishermen resolve to improve their relationships with one another rather than looking down their noses at each other. It doesn't really matter whether you are a fly fisherman, bait fisherman, spincaster, jigger or troller, we are all fishermen. First, last and always.

Some unthinking fishermen should not be calling others such derogatory names as "Pompous Show-Offs," "Worm Dunkers," "Iron Chuckers," "Tuna Boaters" etc. Thank God, that those obnoxious name callers are a very distinct minority of our fishing community. The next time that one of them spouts off, let him/her know that they are a big jerk. That should shut them up.

7. More sportsmen in Nevada resolve to accept the fact that as long as there are more hunters than there are available hunting tags, no tag allocation system will ever be completely accepted as fair and equitable. No state can ever make every would-be hunter happy if there are not enough tags. That's a fact of life. So stop complaining that you did not get a tag for the recent hunting seasons. I have not received a tag of any kind for the last four years (Four years!). I don't complain and I am perfectly satisfied with Nevada's computerized system.

8. Our local area fishing derbies resolve to replace the fish caught during their contests. As more and more derbies take place at locations such as Pyramid Lake, Walker Lake, Wild Horse Reservoir, etc., more and more fish are permanently removed from those waters by the contestants. Once a fish is taken, it is gone forever. Why not take the positive step to ensure healthy populations of fish in our waters by replacing each and every derby fish caught with an equal-sized fish from a hatchery. Remember, more times than not, those derbies are removing fish hatched, raised and released with your taxpayer money. Demand a return on your investment!

Finally, if you have not yet made a resolution for 2000, why not consider one of my suggestions? Any one of them makes more sense than resolving to doing something mundane like losing weight, stopping smoking, washing the dinner dishes, getting along better with your mother-in-law or becoming friendlier with your obnoxious neighbor.

Pick one and best wishes for 2000.

- Bet Your Favorite Pigeon

Bet your favorite pigeon that he can't tell you where I'll be a week from today.

If he smirks and says, "Don Q will be at the Sacramento Sports Show at Cal Expo in Sacramento, Calif.," you need a new pigeon because you just lost the bet.


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