“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.
I was too young to be much of a threat of harvesting any birds, armed with only my trusty Red Ryder BB gun and a short attention span, but that never took any enthusiasm away from the sport of the chase. Now that I have a young son, I realize the difficulties faced taking a child hunting, keeping the adventure interesting, fun and also safe.
It takes a lot of sacrifice for a seasoned hunter to introduce a child to the outdoors. I always thought of myself as part of the hunt, as opposed to a hindrance, solely because my dad chose to use his time and energy making sure I had a great time.
He chose to sacrifice many aspects of his hunt to teach me things that would later mold me into a well-rounded outdoorsman. My dad taught me about conservation, ethics, and morals. He required that if I was going to hunt and fish that I was going to do it the right way.
My father not only mentored my brother and I, but thousands of other kids and adults in hunter safety programs, archery programs, shotgun training programs, boat safety, water safety, and the list goes on and on.
He was never just a law enforcement officer who wrote tickets and arrested violators. My dad was a part of the community in the area that he worked, more a member of the hunting community, and very few people had anything negative to say about him. I want to be just like him and gain the same respect that he had from the people he served.
My father retired in September of 2013 with 35 years of service as a game warden. I transferred to his position in January.
I owe everything I have accomplished in my profession as a game warden to the lessons my father taught me. I was one of the lucky kids that had a father who loved me unconditionally and would spend hours teaching me small lessons like the best fishing knot or how to hold a shotgun.
And the bigger lessons in life like how to treat people fairly and go out of your way to help somebody in need.
Outdoors television producer Bo Newsom and his father, the late Paul Newsom, host of ‘Paul Newsom’s Great Outdoors’
Even though he is no longer with us on Earth, he is always with me. I see him in the spit and drum of a wild turkey just before he lets out an echoing gobble and in the mist from the breath of a Rocky Mountain bull elk after a mid- September bugle.
I see him in the snort wheeze of a whitetail deer and the cackle of a pileated woodpecker in the Kiamichi Mountains. I can go on and on describing the sights and sounds of nature that remind me of him. The sights and sounds that my father taught me to appreciate.
What’s my favorite memory or outdoor experience with my dad? That's an easy question to answer. All of them.
He always found the time to take me hunting or fishing. From a waterfowl hunt when I was four years old, where he called in the ducks and watched as I took aim and fired my cap gun, as if I were the one causing the ducks to fall from the sky, to what would be his last turkey hunt 35 years later, just two months before cancer took him away, and every single year in between.
My dad and I were the best of friends. He was my coach on the field and in life. He was my hunting buddy, and I am a lucky man to have just been able to get to spend that amount of time with him in God’s great outdoors.
Now, as I reflect back I can certainly see why my Dad chose to live his life as an outdoorsman, and I have followed suit.
It is a true blessing to have been able to make a great living in the outdoor industry for over 23 years now, and I owe it all to him.