PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

March 2, 2013

Chester Moore column: Most dangerous thing about outdoors is . . .

Chester Moore
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR —  There is no question the most dangerous thing to encounter in the woods or on the water are people.



    And this comes from someone who has had personal encounters with everything from leopards to great white sharks (me).



    Most people of course will be harmless but when it comes to raw, destructive force humans are the top of the list. Hunters along the border are rightly concerned about the civil war taking place in Mexico spilling over into their hunting camp.



    And there is the potential to encounter just plain bad people anywhere out there. And while a statistical study would probably show people encountered in rural areas are less likely to wish you harm than those in urban areas, bad people encountered in the wild have isolation on their side.



      Encountering people with bad intentions in isolated locations is the reason I always remain cautious when I am beyond the pavement.



    I will never forget walking down to Boggy Creek near Fouke, Ark. With my friend Smokey Crabtree who was one of the stars of famous 1970s Bigfoot pseudo-documentary “The Legend of Boggy Creek”.



    As he strapped on his .357, Smokey said with his trademark whit, “This gun’s not for the monster. It’s for the people.”



    He was referring to dangerous elements that sometimes use such remote locations to prey on others and on that day I had no doubt, my famous friend would have defended us whether the “monster” was of the human or not-so human variety.



     Then there are people who may not mean to do harm but conduct themselves in such a way to be a menace.



    Let us take drunk boaters for instance.



    It is just as dangerous to drive a boat drunk as it is to drive a car and over the last few years there have been several high profile drunk boater related fatal collisions on Texas waterways.



     Something else that we may not like to talk about but is a reality is unsafe hunters.



    Statistically hunting is safer than most sports but every year we hear a couple of incidents of people shooting at the bushes and killing their son who was walking behind them or shooting another hunter walking through the woods.



    It is important to always stay alert when you are in the great outdoors and to surround yourself with good people.



     Taking good friends with you on fishing and hunting expeditions ups the safety factor by a long shot and not only gives you an edge incase there is an encounter with bad guys but also incase you get hurt.



    People die every year simply because they could not get to a hospital on time after everything from heart attacks to snake bites. The outdoors is not a good place to be alone.



    I am the most positive person you will ever meet but I am a realist. Dangers do lurk in the outdoors and the most insidious kind are human created.



     Think safety first and always keep an eye out on the other guy so that no one gets hurt out there.



(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at cmooreoutdoors@gmail.com. You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or watchin him on F.L.E.X. Fishing TV at www.Godsoutdoors.com.)