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Oklahomans related how their fathers shared a passion for the outdoors

Oklahoman Published: June 15, 2014
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“It’s a lucky boy who has a dad who takes him fishin’!” — Jimmy Houston

For generations, fathers have been sharing their passion and passing on their knowledge of the outdoors to their children. Here is a Father’s Day tribute from some of the most recognizable outdoorsmen in Oklahoma to their fathers.

Professional bass angler Jason Christie of Park Hill on his father, Jerry.

I think my dad, just like every other Dad, has the choice to what environment to put his kid in. I was fortunate enough that my Dad put the outdoors around me.

From hunting and fishing to catching crawdads, everything that we did was in the outdoors. That’s how he was raised. He got it from his dad and I got it from mine.

The only way I’m happy is doing something outside, and the only thing better is doing something outside with my family.

I have three girls, and my girls have the same outlook. It absolutely started with my dad. I remember the first time we went fishing. It was in a small pond, and one of the first fish I caught was a bass. From then on I was hooked and it was all I wanted to do.

When I was in grade school, we would would walk two or three miles to go fishing in the creek. The memories I have of us fishing together, deer hunting together, that’s good stuff.

Those are the things I get up in the morning for. I get up to do something outside and that’s all because of him. I am grateful for that.

Professional angler and television show host Jimmy Houston of Cookson on his father, the late Jack Houston.

All that I know or have become in the outdoors is because of my dad, granddad, and two uncles, Gene and John. They started carrying me fishin’ before I could walk and hunting before I could shoot.

My best childhood memories include all-night catfishing trips in a 14-foot aluminum boat on Lake Hefner, walking for miles during the hot summer along the Washita River in Murray County, fishing low water pools, and weeklong summer vacations on Lake Tenkiller.

My senior year at Moore High School, Dad bought a resort on Tenkiller that allowed me to fish almost every day. I actually helped pay my way through college selling catfish.

Dad carried me quail hunting when I could barely walk. I learned to kill quail “flying” with a .22 rifle because I had shot at literally hundreds of quail with my Daisy BB gun. Dad would tell me I was hitting those birds with that BB gun and I thought I really was.

I would get in Dad’s big Umco tackle box and get out the biggest bass lure I could find, tie it on and promptly cast it into the trees. Dad would break it off and move further away from the bank.

I’d get in that huge tackle box and tie on a bigger one that I could throw farther. I remember standing outside my granddad’s house near Moore, with my dad and uncles, with the first Zebco ever made and casting from the back door, all the way to the outhouse.

Later, Dad would buy me my first Ambassadeur casting reel to fish my first national tournament in 1966. I have literally hundreds of these outdoors memories with Dad, Granddad and my uncles.

My greatest outdoors enjoyment as an adult was to take my dad fishing all over America, Mexico, Cuba, and Canada with the television show. My dad died Jan 18, 1990, but I think about him every day. It’s a lucky boy who has a dad who takes him fishin’!

Seminole County game warden Tyler Howser on his father, Daryl, a retired game warden from Seminole County.

As far back as I can remember, all I wanted to do when I graduated from school was be a game warden and follow in the footsteps of my father. My most memorable moments as a child were all spent fishing and hunting with him.

I remember at a very young age spending countless hours walking through persimmon thickets and creek bottoms, following my father’s hunting dogs, anticipating the startling adrenaline rush of a covey of bobwhite quail flushing.

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