, Port Arthur, Texas


July 13, 2013

OUTDOORS COLUMN: Natural gifts are the best

Simplicity is a lost concept.

In a world intently fixated on all things electronic, the seemingly simple things in life often are glossed over.

As a children’s minister who works with kids twice a week I am amazed at just how disconnected children today are from simple pleases. I will never forget hosting a sleepover event for the boys of our church and realizing many had never roasted marshmallows or even heard of the practice for that matter.

You see the fact kids are so disconnected offers a unique opportunity to bless them with simple things that will flat out amaze them on their birthdays or other special occasinos. Let us take a turtle shell for example.

Box turtle and other turtle shells are a common find in the woods and I am always collecting the ones in good condition. I am amazed at how kids are so excited about seeing and handling them. They offer a great teachable lesson.

When a kid gets their hands on one you can teach them how the shell is a turtle’s mobile home of sorts but it is unique because it comes supplied with its own armor. When a predator attacks, the turtle can hide its head and legs and retreat into its own sanctuary. That is real life stuff kids crave but do not understand how to articulate until it is presented to them.

Snake sheds are common around barns, are occasionally found in the woods, and are popular with the kids I work with. I keep snakes and people are always giving me the sheds they find and they end up being prizes for answering trivia questions during my God’s Outdoors classes.

The look on a child’s eye when he or she figures out a snake leaves behind its old skin to reveal new is priceless. Some of course know this but many are shocked and being able to take home a memento of such an occasion is an exciting moment for them.

Without a doubt, the most popular natural gift you can find (or buy) is shark teeth. Kids (and big kids like me) love sharks and a shark tooth or jaw set is something that is guaranteed to put a smile on their face.

I remember getting my first set of shark jaws from a souvenir star on the Galveston Sea Wall back in the early 1980s. I treasured that thing and had my Dad mount it on a board to hang on the wall.

If you are crafty or are adept at using Internet search engines, you can find creative ways to put the teeth on a necklace. Almost every day of my life, I wear a shark tooth necklace as a reminder of one of my favorite creatures and because it just plain looks cool.

Boar’s tusks are also popular items especially with numerous reality programs dealing with hogs. These are easy to find and small ones are cheap to purchase on eBay. That might take some of the fun out of it but if you have a kid that thinks hogs are cool it is an option.

You do not have to get fancy to have an impact on the next time the child in your life has a special occasion. You might just need to step out in the woods and see what you can find.

(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at You can hear him on “Moore Oudoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at

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  • Bassmaster Elites are coming back

    The Bassmaster Elite Series returns to Southeast Texas in March 2015 to fish out of Orange.
    The announcement was made last week, ahead of Bassmaster’s official tournament schedule announcement and the buzz is already strong in Southeast Texas and beyond.
    I was in Orlando, Fla. attending the ICAST (fishing trade) show and talked with a number of top anglers including Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Shaw Grigsby who said it was no surprise they would return considering the massive turnout for the weigh-ins and that the area welcomed them in a very special way.
    It’s far too early to speculate anything like who the top contenders will be or how the fishing will be but there are some things to keep in mind and to look for over the next few months and into the event itself.
    • Prefishing-There is a pre-fishing cutoff that usually extends to right before the Bassmaster Classic and I fully expect most of the anglers in the Elites to come back and prefish.
    Last go-round probably 2/3 of the field fished the area but this time I expect that to be just about everyone. Many of the anglers that did not pre-fish told me they expected to have a lot of water to fish but the sheer volume and diversity was almost overwhelming.
    Beginning probably in the early fall we will see many anglers fishing local waters to get a better idea on how to approach the area.
    • East to West Runs-The Elite anglers fished far and wide but I expect even more running next go-round. After launching from the Simmons Drive Boat Ramp in Orange angler Bill Lowen ran down the Intracoastal, across Galveston Bay and fished in the Clear Lake area and placed in the top 12. The more adventurous anglers will try super long runs, in my opinion, even longer than last time to try and score on big fish. The Intracoastal Canal system makes that possible.
    • Sabine River -Very few of the anglers actually fished in the Sabine River despite the event being called the “Sabine River Challenge”. I think that will change with more anglers running as far north as they can to find pockets of fish that receive little pressure and perhaps a four or five-pounder to push them over the top.
    • Bigger Turnout-Last year some 34,000 people attended the event which set a Bassmaster record for an Elite event.
     It was broken a couple of weeks later in New York but I fully expect the 2015 tournament to draw 40,000 plus. The reason they are coming back is not for the stellar fishing because while we have lots of bass, everyone knows our fishery cannot compare to Toledo Bend for example.
    The support from the public however was amazing and that is what is bringing the top anglers on the planet to fish our area.
    We will have the very best coverage of the event beginning now and leading up to it with exclusive interviews with all of the top pros with not only their thoughts on the big event but with unique tips on how you can catch more fish.
    It’s an exciting time and I look forward to bringing you special coverage on a special event.
    (To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on

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From the Fieldhouse blog