Last week, from a beach on Hawai’i Island, I saw a humpback whale cow execute a full breach and then watched her calf repeat the maneuver. A full breach is where the giant mammal swims up from the depths with great speed and flies out of the water, its entire body airborne, and then flops back in a horizontal position.

Spinner dolphins also do this, but their splashdown doesn’t displace as much water as their 33 ton cousin. So they add their own twist, if you will, a corkscrew technique to add a little pizazz. Hence the name, ‘spinner’ dolphin.

Even after more than six decades of life, this Missouri boy still experiences a sense of overwhelming awe at the wonders of our natural world. My next thought is almost always: How can we get more young people to experience the miracles of the great outdoors?

Recently, MHHF Director Stephen Bramlett circulated an article to the Board from the New York Times about members of the Millennial Generation turning to hunting for the benefit of eating better.

My favorite part is reading about the 33-year-old chef who tried to teach himself how to field dress a deer by surfing Google. But what the heck! If the motivation for the next generation to become outdoorsman is through their gourmet hobbies, more power to them!

Nationwide, the number of hunters and other folks skilled in the ways of the outdoors are going the way of the Jedi Knight. Scientific studies continue to point out and make known the serious implications of this trend. Fortunately, there are growing numbers of resources available starting with our Missouri Department of Conservation. Their website and publications provide terrific information for individuals, families and school classes. Another resource to check out is the Children & Nature Network website.

Of course, for the most hands-on experience, the Missouri Hunting Heritage Federation continues to provide free hunter education clinics for five to six families at a time. For a parent (or any relative) who wants to introduce their youngster to Missouri’s hunting tradition, plus give them the knowledge and skills that come with being a hunter, this is one great weekend. And, short of buying a hunting tag when applicable, it’s all free.

Thank you, as always, for your support of our efforts and please come join us on March 30, for the Annual Member Business meeting and eighth Annual Spring Fling Trap & Turkey Shoot Benefit at Lake Lotawana Sportsmen’s Club.