Kansas “In”doorsman

So I am going through some pics, thinking I might try and catch up on getting some photos cleaned up and posted, and I come across a folder that was meant, once upon a time, to be a blog post. I believe my excuse at the time for putting it off was that it desperately needed a recipe to go along with it – which I have still not received (Jeff or Adam, get this to me and I’ll update this post!)… While my posts do tend to be chronologically deficient from time to time, I wanted to invoke the “better-late-than-never” clause and throw this one out there.

Because this post invites you to a different side – while you see a lot of fishing and hunting and catching and chasing and such from this very group – all five of us posting on this blog – you don’t see that “other side” often here.  It just so happens we are all best buddies OFF the water and OUT of the woods, too.  And we all have “better halves” waiting for us when we part ways at the boat ramp. And, no, Nick does NOT actually live with his dog in his boat. So, while we have come to think of ourselves as the Outdoorsmen, we also know how to have a pretty good time getting the families together and celebrating Indoors as well…

So let’s fire up the “Way Back” machine and share some of the fun we had getting together for the Superbowl back in February, where Eric and his awesome wife Beth played host to the KS Outdoorsman gathering.

I can likely speak for the entirety when I say we are blessed to have a Cajun in the group. While I do fancy myself a fine cook, nothing beats the work of a man born and raised in Louisiana. Jeff’s culinary skills are often the centerpiece of such gatherings, and this would be no exception. With gumbo in tow, part of the plans were to prepare his crawfish etouffe together, as sort of a lesson. We gathered around, taking copious notes (the ones I never secured for this post, Adam!) and playing sous-chef to Jeff every step of the way.

You may have gathered from this – and past posts – that the time in the kitchen, preparing fish and game, and the culinary arts in general are rivaled only by my love of the chase itself and photographing these pursuits.  That being said, the highlight of this gathering wasn’t the incredible authentic Cajun cuisine, nor the smoked  salmon that tastes even better knowing we caught it ourelves. It wasn’t the football game we used as an excuse to gather – or, as I recall, the disappointing commercials that accompanied it. It was being able to bring our families together, to make a little bit of what we do together on the water, in the woods, carry over to them. We are all blessed with wives that tolerate a lot in allowing us to do as we do, and my guess is we don’t thank them enough. I can only speak for myself when I say Jeff’s etouffe helps out immensely in thanking mine 😉


For all the time we spend outdoors together, times like these are what reminds us that there is more to life than fishing and hunting (yeah, I SAID that!) – and that the close friendships developed in blinds and boats are part of our lives even after we’ve gone home and cleaned our catch.

~ benton

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