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BY Jason Patterson on Oct. 20, 2013

A Banded Edification

Teaching the “Big Picture” on Managing Wildlife

By Jason Patterson

As I write this the mid-south is experiencing a nasty drought. Heat and very little rainfall are taking their toll. Finally during the past week we are starting to see a little rain which is a welcome site to us Gamekeepers. My profile includes being a father, a gamekeeper and someone who values and lives the Mossy Oak lifestyle. I live in Jackson, Tennessee, and I am the Regional Pro-Staff Manager for Mossy Oak, overseeing the Mississippi Flyway Waterfowl Team. 

I wanted to share a short story with all of you about hunting with youth and involving them in the Gamekeeper lifestyle. This is a very special story, a rare story that happened to bless me on the last day of Tennessee’s juvenile waterfowl season. Waterfowl season across the country last year was sporadic to say the least, with unseasonably warm weather dominating most of the season. Early rainfall raised river levels and filled up most of the fields and pot holes - waterfowl were spread everywhere, which in turn, caused hunting to be slow overall. Flooding right before the season had crops washed away, navigation dangerous and areas we once hunted before were impossible to get to. Pits were under water and crop fields were covered as well. Waterfowl had to search for areas to feed where they could actually reach their food. 

Waterfowl hunting is a way of life for a lot of us, it drives us to do some crazy things - sleep deprivation, late nights, tedious work on decoys, gadgets, and most of us look forward to that “torture” each year.

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