Outdoors with Mike is dedicated to my father, Verdell Dixon. He gave me my first fly rod when I was four years old, and taught me how to use it. He showed me how to clean fish without cutting my hand, and how much easier it is to skin a rabbit if it's hanging from a tree limb. He taught me gun safety, and to always "keep the rod tip up" when fishing.
The important lessons, however, were not about technique. He taught me to appreciate the outdoors and to respect the land and its owner. Obey the laws and always ask permission before going on private land were two lessons he stressed. The words "if the gate's closed, close it, and if the gate's open, leave it open" echo in my head. "Carry your trash out with you," he would insist, because even a gum wrapper desecrates the natural beauty of the outdoors.
There were times when he would return home from a fly fishing trip and state, "We didn't catch many fish, but we made a lot of nice casts!" Those words, though somewhat comical, typify why we do what we do. It isn't how many fish we catch, or how many animals we kill. It's the experience of just being out there in the quiet stream, or listening to a turkey gobble in the pre-dawn woods. Outdoors With Mike is devoted to delivering useful and enjoyable information about fishing and shooting sports. It is not limited to the pursuit of game and fish trophies, but is designed as a vehicle to share many aspects of what we enjoy.
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