Sportsmen Just A Better Grade Of Good

Daryl Kirby | March 1, 2020

“Hey I want to talk to you about maybe lining up a fishing day on the farm for kids or under privileged folks.”

Just a random text that came in the other day from out of the blue.

Do sportsmen care more, or are people who hunt and fish, in general, just a higher grade of good? I do believe both are true. There’s no doubt in my mind outdoorsmen and women care more than the average person, especially when it comes to doing things for kids.

Maybe I’m just biased… this is a hunting and fishing magazine after all and my day-to-day interactions are with people who hunt and fish. But I don’t think it’s bias.

Every single day I see examples of what sportsmen do for others.

Show me, don’t tell me.

Anyone who has to tell you all the time how great they are at something probably isn’t that great.

We regularly try to show the good people are doing. Just take a quick look through the pages of any issue of Georgia Outdoor News. Mixed between the articles on where the fish are biting and the big bucks being killed are stories about sportsmen caring enough about kids and the future of our sports to do something—people who care enough to get involved.

A great example is the article on page 42. I spent a bit of time at a fundraiser for the Outdoor Dream Foundation (ODF). The next day GON was in Tifton scoring deer racks, so I missed watching those kids spend a snowy day in northeast Georgia shooting pheasants. The photos are awesome—I can only imagine how great it was to be there in person.

As my wife and I attended that fundraiser on Friday evening, the men and women assembled didn’t have to tell me how special their efforts were. They showed me—without trying or knowing, they showed.

Let’s say a particular group of people has assembled, for whatever reason. How do you measure the collective goodness of that group? Well, first you simply observe. What do you see? Are they frothing at the mouth, or wearing masks, and are they beating you over the head with a hateful sign because you don’t think like them?

Obviously not my kind of people.

At that sold-out gym on a Friday night, I saw a large percentage of men wearing hats. That’s a good sign, in my book. Then I saw every hat in that room come off without being told as someone stood up to bless the food. Yes, there was a blessing. Definitely a good sign. Then I saw a homemade red velvet cake go for more than $700 in a live auction. That cake was no doubt expertly prepared by one of the fine ladies of that local church, and I’m sure it most certainly was delicious. But that cake went for more than $700 in a live auction. Someone wrote that check to raise funds to help ODF. The people in that room wanted to help, in a big and generous way.   

Show me, don’t tell me.

The time and effort put forth by volunteers to pull off that fundraiser or the pheasant shoot the next day is substantial. Those are big asks. But making a real difference in a young person’s life doesn’t have to be a big ask. It can be as simple as taking them fishing or hunting.

And there are endless opportunities to help groups already doing good.

Imagine how many kids and families will be touched during events organized and carried out by sportsmen. There are so many projects and functions that are outdoor-related and are helping kids. If you know of one that hasn’t shown up in GON, we didn’t leave them out on purpose.

If you’re involved in a non-profit organization, a youth ministry or maybe you’re simply among a group of people trying to do good by exposing kids to hunting and fishing, please get in touch with GON.

Don’t assume we’ve heard about your efforts.

Please don’t be modest. This is one instance where you need to tell us first, and then we’ll let you show us.

We want each issue of GON to include stories about the men and women who are making a difference, who are providing opportunities and teaching our youth about hunting and fishing.

By helping promote events beforehand and by getting those kids’ smiling pictures in the magazine afterward, we can do our small part. GON wants to help, but we can’t do it if folks don’t reach out to us.

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