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It's all in the jeans when it comes to mom

May 12, 2008
Bill Harding
Here’s to all the mothers who put up with sons and daughters who would rather hunt and fish than do household chores. My dear mother has been gone for a long time, but raising me must have been a super test of her patience.

A cartoon in the Morning Journal depicted a boy showing his mom some flat worms he found in the driveway. My mom found mine in my pockets. You see, when two guys were fishing and had just one worm can, it was normal to carry worms in a pocket. This was no problem unless you forgot to empty your pockets before throwing the jeans in with the dirty clothes.

As you older readers will remember we had wringer type washing machines in those days. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, my mother did not turn my pockets inside out until after a day’s collection of bait had passed through the wringer. She took it well, but probably contemplated passing me through the wringer.

Washday must have been an adventure for her. In addition to a pocket full of worms I always wiped my hands on my jeans. By the time mom finally convinced me that I should change to clean jeans the dirty ones would probably stand up by themselves due to an assortment of dried fish and frog slime, trapline bait, and who knows what else. The wash water would probably have held most ingredients for a witch’s brew. I only remember part of the recipe the witches used in Macbeth, but I’ll bet most of them were on my jeans at one time or another.

Before the advent of spinning reels, we used casting reels that would backlash the line into amazing snarls. Reels in those days did not have all of the magic brakes that are incorporated into modern reels. The only brake was our thumb and my reels were all of the very inexpensive variety.

The snarls were where my mother’s patience paid off for me. She would sit quietly and untangle my line until I could cast out and get another “bird’s nest” of cheap line. Mom could accomplish this with a hairpin, but my solution would have involved something much sharper, such as a pocket knife. Thanks to her patience my line was not reduced to a very short cast by the season’s end.

In my youth it was the boys who got dirty and messy while the girls played more refined games like tea parties. Today’s mothers are just as likely to have a daughter who hunts and fishes. Even better, many of today’s mothers are not strangers to rods, reels and guns. It just doesn’t get much better than that.

While this is a day set aside to honor mothers, we should give thanks every day of the year for what they have done for us. Thank God for mothers.

Coyote problems

Speaking of mothers, can you imagine the horror a California mother felt as a coyote began to drag away a 14-month old toddler? The boy was lucky to survive, but this certainly illustrates the problem coyotes can become.

California is not a state that especially welcomes hunting and I wonder how much that attitude played in the coyote’s bravado. It seems that states that either outlaw or severely restrict hunting are the ones most noted for attacks on humans by predators. Jogging in cougar country can be risky.

Here in Ohio coyotes seem to be getting bolder and it is my opinion that hunters need to remind them that humans can be dangerous. So far the only reports I have received are about dogs being chased home or bitten, but I can’t help but wonder about the cats that have disappeared. I know of no attacks on humans.

Spring means that coyotes will be either about to whelp or already have pups to feed. Feeding a family could make them more aggressive when it comes to killing food. It also should make them more susceptible to a good predator call.

This is a good time for hunters to thin out the coyote population and teach those that survive a little fear of man. You might find landowners very open to safe coyote hunters.



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