G. Sam Piatt
PDT Outdoors Writer
Back in Old England, you know, people followed a custom of cleaning their chimneys on New Year’s Day. This was supposed to bring good luck to the household during the coming year.
That was sort of a nasty, sooty old job though, and so today we just “clean the slate” rather than clean the chimney.
I’ve bought a new spiral notebook with lots of clean blank pages, and tossed the old one, which was so scribbled up I couldn’t read most of it anyway.
AROUND THE GLOBE
New Year’s is a holiday celebrated in just about every country around the world. In the Orient, people decorate their homes and give each other gifts.
In Europe, it’s celebrated with family parties, the giving of gifts and visiting with friends.
In the U.S., parties are held in many businesses that cater to such celebrations. Some watch the old year out and the new year in at the respective churches they attend.
It’s best if your celebration is spent with good friends. It’s not much fun, I discovered once in the military, to celebrate New Year’s with total strangers.
My wife and I usually spend the celebration at home with family – or sometimes at a watch service at a local church with church-goers we know.
I remember back in the old days waking up on the first day of the new year with a headache and a sick stomach.
That’s not much fun.
It’s a day of looking back – on some things we want to forget and on some that we remember fondly.
Two thousand and twelve was a sad one for me in some ways, because of the good friends I lost to death.
MEN OF VALOR
But it was a good year for me in many respects, one being publication of my book, “Men of Valor.”
It has been well received, selling out and calling for more prints of the first edition to arrive at the publisher’s – the Jesse Stuart Foundation – after the first of the year.
The World War II Pacific and European combat stories of local veterans is being bought not just by those people who have the stories of family members or friends appearing within its 310 pages, but by others who enjoy reading and learning more about that mighty war that engulfed the whole world nearly 70 years ago.
For those who would like a copy, it can be ordered by making a check out to me for $26, which includes the cost of handling and mailing, and send it, along with the return address you want the book mailed to, to me at 50 First Street, South Shore, KY 41175.
And stipulate if you want the book personally signed and to whom.
Or you can purchase one for $20 by stopping by my house at 50 First Street in Sand Hill, off U.S. 23 three miles east of South Shore — second house on right, brick ranch with large front porch.
If you’re reasonably close by, of course, I’ll bring you a copy. Call the number or email me using the information at the bottom of this column.
In a continuing effort to get youth back into the outdoors and away from electronic games, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is offering free hunting and trapping of wild animals.
The Free Youth Deer Hunting Weekend opened yesterday and runs through the end of today. The Free Youth Hunting and Trapping Week also opened yesterday and runs through Friday.
It’s for young people age 15 and under and open to both residents and nonresidents. Youth hunters and trappers age 15 and under are not required to have licenses, permits or hunter education certification, but must be accompanied by an adult.
During the Free Youth Deer Hunting Weekend, deer of either sex may be taken statewide in Zones 1-4. Any legal equipment such as a long bow, a recurve bow, a compound bow, a crossbow, a muzzleloader or a modern gun may be used to take deer. All bag limits, zone restrictions and other deer hunting restrictions apply. Deer of either sex may be taken statewide during this deer-hunting weekend.
During the seven-day free hunting and trapping week, they may pursue ducks, geese and migratory birds as well. These species may be hunted without state or federal permits, including a trapping license, Kentucky Waterfowl Permit or Federal Waterfowl Stamp. Bag limits and other regulations apply.
Meanwhile, Kentucky’s hunting season on sandhill cranes is underway and will continue through Jan 13, or until 400 of the birds are killed, whichever comes first.
Officials from the Humane Society of the United States have asked state wildlife officials to call the season off because of fears hunters may mistakenly kill a whooping crane, which is listed on the federally endangered species list.
Kentucky wildlife officials report recent sightings of whooping cranes in the western part of the state, in Henderson and Hopkins counties.
Last fall, a survey coordinated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service counted a minimum of 72,000 sandhill cranes in the Eastern Population.
By contrast, officials say fewer than 600 whooping cranes now live in the wild in the United States.
Kentucky was the first state to allow sandhill crane hunting on the Eastern Population of sandhill cranes. The Mid-Continent Population of sandhill cranes has been hunted for more than 50 years in the United States.
Kentucky’s first season in 100 years was held last year.
Just over 330 people paid $3 to enter their names for a permit. Fifty sandhills were killed.
Hunters were required to pass an online identification course before being issued a permit. This was chiefly to make certain they did not mistakenly shoot a whooping crane.
One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.
One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
“The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather:
“Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
G. SAM PIATT can be reached at (606) 932-3619 or Gsamwriter@aol.com.