Grounded! Down to earth! Certainly two of the greatest compliments a person can bestow upon another, identifying the integrity, reliability and righteousness of an individual.
When it gets right down to it, both those terms are quite literal in their origin, celebrating a person’s honest, earthly touch and connection, as in farming, ranching, hunting, fishing, trapping and overall down and dirty terra firma hands-on lifestyles.
From my earliest years roaming the mystical riverine wildgrounds of the mighty Rouge River in my Detroit neighborhood, in between guitarkranking adventure, I was always fascinated by the animals, birds, furbearers and their intriguing habitat.
Thank God I had this soul cleansing wildlife Skunk Hollow paradise right across Hazelton Street to lure me away from concrete jungle citytime so often.
Sure, I was equally fascinated by the downtown electricity, and explored that MotorCity environment just as often.
But it was always the woods, swamps, marshes and the animals that called my name the loudest and more forcefully.
With my always present little Boy Scout pocketknife, I would cut, carve and whittle my own handmade bows and arrows, spears and slingshots, build forest lean-to’s and forts, and develop a genuine hands-on knowledge of basic instinctual survival skills pretty much every day of my youth.
Well here it is in the craziest of times 70 some years later, and guess what I did this morning; same old wonderful, intriguing, adventurous, outdoor fun stuff.
I believe the great rockband Foreigner actually wrote their song Dirty Whiteboy about me!
I am forever filthy, muddy, mucky, bloody, scratched, scraped and happy, for each and every day of my American outdoor Dream life finds me digging, chopping, hacking, raking, plowing, grinding, gutting and/or muckrunning someplace down and dirty, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
And it’s not just fun and adventurous and soul cleansing, such down to earth activities have a very practical, pragmatic side to them as well.
With the explosion of the supplemental wildlife feed industry over the years, all that filth under my fingernails has become more and more productive with incredibly beneficial results for my wildlife and therefor my happiness.
Planting fruit trees and thermal cover coniferous trees and ground cover plantings by the thousands forever, the resultant habitat enhancement has upgraded my crittergrounds exponentially. Increased wildlife sightings and encounters are what it’s all about for me, and the gratification factor is at an alltime high.
With an army of mad scientists developing new and improved wildlife foodplot seed variations every year, the deer and other wildlife have never had it so good.
Like millions of wildlife loving families across America, we plant maximum acres every year in Texas and Michigan with the Buck Forage Oats and Big Tine seed blends, and I’ve never seen deer, turkey, waterfowl and all other critters zero in on a foodsource so determinedly like I do now.
Even if you don’t have land, tractors and farming implements, there is a simple and proven system by which everybody can accomplish this wildlife enhancement fun.
Like numerous custom seed manufacturers, the Joe Umphries and his fellow deernuts at Big Tine have a no-till seedblend called Big Tine Buck Brunch that has produced killer results for me and my buddies.
By simply raking a clearing of any size in the forest or fields, you can broadcast this seedblend on bare ground and before you know it, there is an emerald spot glimmering with highly desirable and nutritious growth that the deer, turkey and all wildlife with find and begin to utilize immediately.
I did this many years ago on public ground in state and national forest systems, hand broadcasting rye, wheat and oat seed along with some 19-19-19 fertilizer and experienced amazing increases in deer and turkey sightings and kills.
As summertime throttles onward and the world gets uglier by the day, now is the time to swandive into the powerful healing powers of nature as an actual hands-on participant. I swear, when working up a summertime sweat enhancing our sacred wildgrounds, all the world’s ugliness disappears and all is right with the world at hand.
Look into it and give it a shot. Experience the wonderful win-win of dirty hands down to earth happiness that will pay off in serious backstrap grin dividends come hunting season.