“Old soldiers never die; they only
I will not attempt to credit anyone with penning that nostalgic line
of World War I vintage, but the late and great General Douglas MacArthur,
of World War II (Pacific) fame, certainly popularized it, as did a country
song of that day.
My point being that while folks get old (that beats the alternative),
they still kick up their heels occasionally and give young folks something
to think about.
Recently, for example, I have learned that three old and dear friends
are making news without crashing the obituary columns. And all of their
works over the years have been huge pluses for Hoosier outdoors folks of
many persuasions. They are, if you will pardon the analogy, the answer
of Hoosier outdoors folks to yesteryear's Chi-Cubs famous baseball double-play
combination of Tinkers-to-Evers-to-Chance.
They are William B. Barnes, for many years a mainstay of the Division
of Fish and Wildlife (even when it was the Division of Fish and Game);
Dan Gapen, one of the most influential fishing lure manufacturers of Hoosier
angling, and a strong draw for the Indianapolis Boat, Sport & Travel
Show, and Jack Kerins, of the original television sportsman show of Hoosierland,
and a strong contender for that honor in the entire country.
Barnes and Kerins have recently penned books of much interest to Hoosier
outdoors folks, and Gapen, also an author of numerous tomes, will return
to the Indianapolis Sports Show in February as a manufacturer. Dan has
not been here for the Sports Show for 15 years.
Barnes, now 97 years old and living at Huron, South Dakota, did his
memoirs, Natural Resources And The Great Depression In Martin County
And Central Indiana, for the Indiana Historical Bureau. Bill served
the Hoosier wildlife agency for many years before becoming the first director
of the Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Nature Preserves.
In his memoirs, Bill shares a 27-year wealth of information on wildlife
management techniques and procedures. Many of which led to modern-day biological
tools. Published by the Indiana Historical Bureau (IHB), Barnes’ book can
be ordered ($14.95 plus postage) by telephone (317-232-2535), or by U.S.
mail (140 North Senate Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46204).
Gapen, who along with the late Bill Hughes (a fishing tackle sales representative
for numerous manufacturers) opened the eyes of many Hoosier anglers to
the joys of fly fishing. He also is well known in Hoosierland (and elsewhere)
as the inventor and producer of the popular Hairy Worm and Ugly Bug lures.
The Ugly Bug still occupies a stall in Dan’s stable of lures and other
angling paraphernalia. He is considering the possibilities of making a
limited number of Hairy Worm lures available at the Sports show.
Details of his appearance at the Sports Show are not yet known but his
exhibit will be in the popular “Tackletown” area of the sportsman’s extravaganza
scheduled to open February 17.
Kerins’ book, Hooks and Bullets, and Dying Embers, is a beautifully
written collection of hunting/fishing/outdoor stories that belongs in every
Hoosier nimrod’s book shelves.
As the pages turn from “Hearing The Call” to “Dying Embers” I find myself
laughing uproariously or dabbing at tears with my shirtsleeves. And Jack’s
stories tell me this man who co-hosted (with Jack Ennis) the “TV-Sportsman
Show” at Terre Haute for 21 years, most assuredly is one of our state’s
great outdoor writers.
Individual signed copies of Jack’s book are available ($17.95, postage
included) by writing him (82 Briarwood, Terre Haute, IN 47803), or by telephone
(812-877-1264). Special prices are available on orders for six or more
THE WATERFOWL PICTURE
The December deep freeze has moved most of the ducks and geese out of
the North Zone (roughly the northern third
of the state), but weekly waterfowl surveys indicate there still are plenty
of ducks in the South Zone (roughly the southern two-thirds of the state),
and the Ohio River zone (a narrow strip along the Ohio River).
With smaller standing water covered with ice, and harvested cornfields
covered with snow, ducks and geese are more dependent on rivers, and this
makes it easier to find birds.
Higher temperatures and rain would create ideal conditions for floating
jump-shoots, but ducks and geese still will be found on rivers that are
at winter normal levels.