Swan Creek

Swan Creek sits relatively still and calm on a cold December day. The waters slow east of Chadwick off of Swan Cave Road in eastern Christian County.

It’s December and deer and duck seasons are still going on but starting to wind down. Most of us that sit in a duck blind or deer stand are starting to wind down, too, but we still go so we can soak up as much of the hunting seasons as we can.

Most fishermen don’t even think about going fishing in December. Those who do are glad because the lakes aren’t nearly as crowded and the fish are still biting. It’s a great time to wrap up warm and go catch a limit of crappie.

Camping gear is put away, but you can still take a winter hike. A canoe or kayak trip down an Ozarks stream is an unforgettable experience. Time around a campfire is special any time of year. 

Escape the commercialism of the Christmas season and find time to slow down, get out and enjoy December outdoors with family, friends or quiet time alone. 

Did you know?

Did you know if the smoke from your campfire rises straight up, good weather will continue or arrive soon? If the smoke rises and then falls, or hangs low over the fire, wet weather is coming. 

The best gift

The best gift you can give your kids and grandkids this Christmas is teaching them to love the great outdoors. It’s a gift that will last them a lifetime. 

I was just wondering

Why do they call it the Department of Interior when they are in charge of everything outdoors? 

Where do forest rangers go to “get away from it all?” 

Can vegetarians eat animal crackers?

You’re one step closer

If you’re still out there hunting deer, there are one of three reasons why: you are still after that trophy buck, you haven’t filled your tag yet and want venison for the freezer, or you’re just crazy.

As the clock keeps ticking, the key is training your mind to see positives where others would see doom and gloom and give up. Forget about all the deer you know have already been harvested. Forget about those pictures of your buddy’s bucks.

As it gets colder, deer feed more and your competition is at home by the fire, so dress warm and get out there. Be positive. You’re one step closer to getting your deer.

Free Christmas gifts

Who says the Christmas gifts have to be bought online or by dealing with crowds of shoppers around town? Birdhouses made from wood scraps makes a great Christmas gift. So does a hand crafted hiking stick. Snack sticks or jerky from the deer you harvested are always a welcome gift.

If you’re a grandparent, Christmas is a great time to pass down your dad’s or grandpa’s old shotgun, pocket knife or fishing equipment to your kids or grandkids. They would love a handmade gift certificate redeemable for a fishing trip with you.

How about the gift of a special camping trip with family time around the campfire complete with a special Christmas tree decorated with items from the nature that surrounds you? It can even be in your own backyard. Time alone with your spouse on a hiking trip is a gift they will never forget. There are plenty of other freeChristmas gift ideas and they are limited only by your imagination.        

Something to think about

“He who has no Christmas in his heart will never find Christmas under a tree.” 

- Charlotte Carpenter

Larry Whiteley was born and raised in Nixa. He was inducted into the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in honor of his over 40 years of communicating the great outdoors all over the world through his outdoor articles and radio shows.

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