Capt. Mark East’s Advice to the Careworn, Confused, Lovelorn and Other Outdoor People

Dear Capt. East,
My parents won’t let me buy a gun. I’m 16 and still hunting with a .22. I want to buy a 20-gauge shotgun for duck hunting. My father does not hunt and my mother is afraid of guns. I’m afraid that if I can’t hunt now I will miss a great opportunity. I live on the Chesapeake and we have a lot of ducks and geese here.

Dear Frustrated,
I can share your frustration. I had gone through the Navy before I was able to take up hunting because my parents were against guns. My suggestions would be to first take a hunter safety course (perhaps you already have), then try to join a hunting club near you. There are a number in your area. Ask one of the members for help. Most hunters and fishermen are eager to help young people like yourself to carry on the great traditions of outdoorsmanship. Good luck. If you need more help don’t hesitate to write.



Dear Capt. Mark East,
I live in Southwest Florida where the fishing can be terrific, but in late years due to “red tides” and some overfishing the catch has not been good. I was fishing a few weeks ago and happened to notice a boat fishing for sea trout. They were pulling fish aboard that I know were undersized and not throwing them back. They were keeping everything except the very small ones. I tried to call Florida Marine Patrol but couldn’t reach anyone. What should anyone do in a case like this? I couldn’t see the registration numbers.
Pissed Off

Dear Pissed Off,
People like you described are not sportsmen and should be banned not only from fishing but from even owning a boat. If this happens again, try calling the sheriff’s office and giving them a description of the boat, location, etc. If Marine Patrol is not available they might be able to help. Discreetly following them to the launch area might also lend some more information. You might also come by their boat and ask how the fishing is. That way you can at least get the boat numbers.



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