‘Growing up I dreamed of adventure and stayed outside as much as I could; which was tough in the snow of Buffalo, NY. Knocking down my first challenge of Eagle Scout, I learned the skills that would guide me through the rest of my life as an outdoorsman, hunter, dad, and husband. As I approach my 40’s, I live to pass along those traditions to my children. I would rather watch my son take his first duck out of the air or my daughter pull in a huge Northern Pike, than travel solo to an exotic location to hunt myself. While serving as the commander of a Green Beret team around the world, I realized how fortunate we are as Americans to have the freedom to hunt, fish, and share the outdoors with loved ones in relative safety. I often reflect on that era in my life while enjoying the peace of a tree stand or the quiet of a pre-dawn waterfowl hunt. It brings peace to what was otherwise chaos in the world. Whether it is accidently slapping a friend in the face with a stringer full of salmon as we hurry away from an approaching brown bear or untangling my 4 years olds fishing rod for the 20th time, let me live outdoors.
Brian Dowling, Vermont.’