My Dad and Mom tethered me to a tree when I was verily walking when they took me fishing because they didnít swim. No, I donít remember it as punishment, I was having the time of my life catching Blue Gills. Iíve been hooked ever since. Iím really enjoying my Grandkids and they love to go fishing. I make sure they have their life vests on, even thou they swim better than I do. Yes, we still all catch Blue Gills and have a great time! All four generations still enjoy fishing.
At the old age of eight I and a friend won our first tournament and those were the best tasting Butter Fingers Iíve ever ate! Iíve been hooked on tournaments ever since. I have the newspaper clipping to prove it still! For the record, we knew we didnít have a chance at the biggest anything, but we knew we could catch the most of anything in his Uncleís pond. We caught over 300 Bullheads and even back them we released most of them in the pond. We knew we could catch them again and it was just too much work to clean more than just enough for super.
My dad was more of a hunter than an angler when I was at home. I was a hunter too. Every day after school during Nebraskaís pheasant season I would walk from our farm home in a big circle for about a mile or so of draws and fence rows with my Lab, King. No one ever told me you canít hunt here, we farmed most of the land and everyone hunted back then. I went in what ever direction from home I wanted. I donít remember any shot up signs and our home was never locked. I really donít remember shooting a limit the whole time I hunted, I just got table meat and nothing was ever wasted. Two birds were about all I wanted to clean by flashlight after chores anyway. Several years after I left home and moved to Kansas City to further my education my Mom told me ďI was kinda glad when you moved out.ĀEspan style="mso-spacerun: yes"> I was floored, but managed to ask ďWhy?ĀEspan style="mso-spacerun: yes"> She answered ďWhen you were home hunting everyday after school I couldnít have chicken and I hate the taste of pheasant!
Our fields looked funny to many I suppose, because my Dad did everything possible to save a pheasant hen and her brood. Fresh worked fields had random patches of grass and weeds were a hen had her nest. Hay fields had standing hay where a doe had her fawn hid. Some grain was always left for the wildlife and extra hay was available for the deer during bad storms. Dad worried about the wildlife, was there enough food and water for them? I remember when one of our ponds was over flowing and little bullheads were left in the grass to die. Dad lead the effort to get them all picked up and put back in the water. None died.
Our youth forms our adult life. Itís no wonder I consider myself a Conservationist and serve as the Missouri B.A.S.S. Federation State Conservation/Natural Resource Director (SCNRD) and a Director to, and Chair of the Fresh Water Fisheries Committee for the Conservation Federation Missouri. Iím also the Federationís representative to the Clean Water Network. Iím working at a different level than Dad. He was right where he knew he was making a difference because he saw the wildlife numbers increase. He watched the pheasant chicks he saved grow up. Few of us will ever be able to make the difference my Dad has. We have to work together to provide the funds and the tools for others to make the actual difference. We are making a difference too!
I am married to Betty (for 30 years), we have two Children, Bruce of Grandview MO and Cindy Pummill of Holden MO and Grandkids Katie and Jaycee Pummill, and JT Noah. My whole family helps with Federation efforts like the Summer Sizzler Childrenís Miracle Network Tournament.
When Iím not being a pain in the butt to politicians who oppose our conservation efforts, I like to be fishing, boating, hunting, writing, and doing promotions. Ranger Boats, Evinrude Motors, All Star Rods, Bass Assassin, and Wordenís Lures have sent me all over the US promoting their products. I keep telling them I need to go to Mexico to test their products, but I havenít got the tickets yet. Iíve worked with some of the best in the world and visited with some of the best sportsmen the world has to offer. Iíll take an angler or hunter over just about any other person anytime I need a job done and done right.
I am always working to find organizations to partner with to improve the environment. The National Audubon Society and the Missouri B.A.S.S. Federation have become allies on several issues including the Wetlands Rider, National Permit 26, and the Elmslie U.S. Army District, Corps of Engineerís Permit. Together this team defeated the Wetlands Rider, ended the National Permit 26, and the Corps denied the permit. The Sierra Club and the Federation have teamed together against the large factor livestock confinement operations in Missouri to create legislation that has stopped most expansion. These efforts are never ending. The teams use the Internet to communicate information and plan strategies. You may be called upon to help from time to time too.
Remember, Iím hooked on fishing and tournaments! Iím on the water a couple times almost every week when itís not solid. A new lure, rod, reel, line or do-dad (wifeís term) is all the excuse I need to hit the lake! I just love the new toys the UPS Man brings. He works so hard, I just have to try everyone of them out. You will be hearing about them here. I fish tournaments all over the US and look forward to helping you improve angling results and have fun doing it. I still make a better guide than tournament winner and I enjoy the guiding and teaching more than the winning!