Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Respect is one of many words that describes someone’s positive character traits. Respect represents admiration of someone or something. When there is lack of respect, it often shines like an aerodrome beacon for all to recognize.
For instance, earlier this year while fishing from the kayak at the coast, there were several boats as well as myself fishing along a train trestle. We were all evenly spaced providing plenty of distance between each other. One boat even moved up to a bridge piling, tying to the concrete beam and attempting to fish for sheepshead. While the boat did come close to where I was located, we acknowledged each other and knew we would not be interfering with each other’s fishing.
The current flowing under the bridge and trestle was rather strong as the tide was coming in. My anchor held tight in the open channel as my fishing focused away from the anchor rope.
In the distance, I noticed a large center console heading down the channel. I thought it was rather strange, as this channel is not a throughway, as not only is it narrow but also has several huge concrete power poles several feet in diameter positioned right in the middle.
As the boat passed the first anchored fishing boat down the channel I could tell this was not going to go well. The wake was high, and the boat passed within a few feet of the other.
Still, it kept coming down the channel. As it came closer, I spotted several trolling rigs set out to the sides. For sure this was not happening here.
As it passed between me and the other nearby boat, water breached my kayak easily and tossed the boat fishing for sheepshead into the piling it was tied to. My greatest worry was whether their trolling rigs would catch onto my anchor rope and proceed to snatch the kayak over. I grabbed the anchor rope and tugged and pulled as quickly as I could to prevent the potential catastrophe.
While this was a clear lack of respect for each of us fishing this channel, it also became dangerous.
Then there was the time a couple of years ago on the last day of deer season. As I walked into the clearing of the field to get to my stand, I noticed bright orange ahead in a tripod stand at a point in the woods. My dad and son were not hunting, and our gate had been locked. Yet there were two hunters sitting in our tripod.
I laid the bow and arrows down in the path and approached them. Well before getting there, they climbed down and started walking towards me as well. I knew I was unarmed. I knew they had rifles. This was not a time for me to offer threats, but instead I just asked did they know where they were. They said they thought they were on a nearby landowner’s farm. I corrected them and pointed them towards the farm they mentioned. While they had an excuse, I still doubted their sincerity considering the way they exited the stand and approached me as if they had been caught.
While that case can be argued, tree stands built onto private land cannot. I have seen it on our land, with access from a major highway. I have seen it where stands were built on other properties several feet into the woods in order to conceal the effort. I have seen cameras put up and bait put out. I have seen No Trespassing signs removed and trash left. I have even seen deer carcasses with just the back straps cut out left for the landowner to clean up.
For all the ethical, respectful hunter and angler out there, it only takes the few less than respectful people to tarnish the image.

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