As outdoorsmen and women, how are we supposed to view Independence Day?
The Fourth of July represents the most important day in American history. It was on that day that 56 men signed the Declaration of Independence and absolved any allegiance to a tyrannical leader.
Together they took the responsibility of building a better future for America and its people. So, what does this have to do with outdoorsmen? Everything.
The men who signed that piece of paper and made a commitment to each other grabbed their arms and defended their freedoms and beliefs, setting a precedent for America. Their actions and sacrifices, along with the sacrifices that our current servicemen and women, let us celebrate collectively as a country.
It is most convenient to celebrate these freedoms on the Fourth of July, when the long weekend permits. Celebrations include a gathering of family, friends and anyone else who is around - but it can be celebrated for more than just one day.
As an outdoorsman, I see it a little differently. Every time I walk into the woods, or wet a line, I am celebrating my freedom as an American citizen. Every animal harvested or fish caught is a testament to the sacrifices that were made by others for my rights.
It is our freedoms that define us as Americans and outdoorsmen; we get to take advantage of this more than most others. We have a vested interest in conserving the land and the animals that inhabit it. We are the ones who get up early in the morning, adventure further into areas unknown and get to relish in the sights, sounds and experiences that this brings. Celebrating our freedoms should not be limited to one three-day weekend each year.
This Fourth of July make sure to celebrate in the ways that you are familiar. This summer when you're fishing and this fall when you're hunting, make sure to take the time to celebrate your freedoms, remember the sacrifices of others and enjoy your freedoms as an American citizen and all of the opportunities that it brings.