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 Wildlife never gets old

An enjoyment of the outdoors bridges the gap between generations.

Drew Cushing
Drew Cushing is a wildlife biologist who focuses on Utah's warmwater fisheries. He works with other DWR personnel and angling groups to ensure appropriate and consistent program direction. Drew is an avid angler and hunter.

IN MY YEARS WITH THE DWR, there’s one day that really stands out. It was a warm spring morning at Pioneer Park Pond, and the Ogden Senior Citizen Center dropped by for an outing. The seniors enjoyed themselves as they always did, visiting with each other in the outdoors. At about that time, I saw a kid down at the pond catching black bullheads and frogs.

A boy discovers something special

A boy discovers something special

In a matter of minutes, Bo — an 85-year-old senior — was in the water, with the youth at his side, up to his waist, catching fish and frogs! They put the little bullheads and frogs into a Big Gulp cup and stuck to their task for about two hours. They both laughed the whole time.

It really struck me. Here was a man, nearly at the end of his time on earth, having the kind of fun that was timeless. And even better, he shared that enjoyment with a kid.

What makes a job really worthwhile and memorable? For me, it was that the single, joyful moment where I saw what water and wildlife could do — both physically and emotionally — to a kid, an old man and me. I would imagine Bo has passed by now, but his enthusiasm affected everyone who saw him that day. And it sure inspired me.

8 Responses to Wildlife never gets old

  1. It is indeed touchy and memorable. As a father with kids and a father I enjoy a lot of the outdoor events with 3 generations altogether, life and family are invaluable and I wish it is forever. Thank you for the great post.

  2. That is what life is about, not thinking and just enjoying it. As a father of a toddler I know what thats like i am only 26 years old and i survived a liver transplant. when i was terminal all i could think of was surviving to grow old and see my son and future grandkids. god blessed me and things like this i truly appreciate.

  3. Many times in life we forget what is reall important. This memory will always remind me, that if I take a little time and really look at what is going on around me, I will always keep things in perspective.

  4. When we were growing up those were the best times of our lives as children and when I play with my kids it brings me away from the “real world” and into one of imagination and fun. I think that’s part of the reason Bo was out playing with the kid, because it put him into a state of mind where he was not old anymore, but young.

  5. While I agree with you that nature is a great bridge between different age groups, the number of parents actively encouraging their children to get involved with wildlife is on the decline as people pave over their gardens and visit green spaces less often. There needs to be a greater emphasis in the classroom on such subjects if the parents are going to neglect this chance to nurture their children.

  6. There needs to be a greater emphasis in the classroom on such subjects if the parents are going to neglect this chance to nurture their children.I will always keep things in perspective.

    Thanks
    Drew Jones

  7. This is a great article of man and nature. How man can benefit from nature. It is ageless and reading through your article it is quite touching for father and son to enjoy something so simple and costless.

    Sadly as more and more we develop we are destroying nature. I hope that we can find way to develop without destroying nature.

    Lately this scenario is only available if you travel a great distant to enjoy this type of bonding with one’s family

  8. Great story!

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