MOORE OUTDOORS: ‘White buffalo’ moment can do wonders
Published 9:07 pm Saturday, December 31, 2016
Life can be tough.
Anyone reading this already knows this, of course, as every one of us has experienced loss, trauma, depression, strike or all of the above.
The great outdoors is a sanctuary for thousands in Southeast Texas and millions around the country. Whether your favorite pursuit involves sitting in a duck blind, climbing a tree stand or pursuing nature’s most beautiful creatures with a telephoto lens, there is a peace that comes with stepping beyond the pavement.
I am personally challenging myself to get outdoors more in 2017 and am hereby challenging you as well.
The fact is the great outdoors does good for both our mental and physical health. Simply walking through the woods or venturing past the jetties into the sandy green waters of the Gulf can do wonders for a person.
In fact, an encounter in the woods put serious wind under my wings in 2016 and inspired me to take my work with children, wildlife photography and writing to a new level.
It all started as a beautiful herd of longhorn cattle made their way across a bluebonnet covered meadow.
Walking down a trail from an oak thicket, one particularly massive bull stopped and glared at us so I felt obliged to jump out of the truck and shoot photos.
We were at YO Ranch Headquarters near Mountain Home in Kerr County and had just completed granting a “Wild Wish” for a little boy named Amos who got to encounter a giraffe and many other exotic animals at the legendary ranch.
Amos and two other wish kids who accompanied us followed me and another chaperone out to photograph the massive bull when we noticed something in the bushes. Hiding under the shade of a live oak was a massive bison. The longhorns were cool but this was awesome!
This thing was easily in the 2,000-pound range and gave us a real thrill as buffalos were the topic of conversation riding down the road. “Wild Wishes” grants exotic animal encounters for children who have lost a parent or sibling or who have a terminal illness, and to think that the Lord granted us this chance to see such an amazing animal together was humbling to say the least.
Then it got better.
From behind another tree stood up something big and white. At first it looked like a bull, but when it turned around chills ran up and down my spine. This was no bull.
It was a white buffalo.
As I snapped photos, the majestic bison looked us square in the eye and then retreated into the oaks as we stood blown away.
All three of the kids knew about the legend of the white buffalo and its importance to Native American culture and so did I, of course. We had no idea such a creature existed on the huge ranch and would not have seen it if we had not decided to pull over and photograph the longhorns.
I have had many incredible wildlife encounters, and this one ranks right up there with seeing great white in the Pacific. This was a lifelong dream come true, and I got to share it with three very special kids and a friend who is as big a buffalo fan as I am.
That never would have happened if I had chosen to sit at my desk that weekend. It required getting outdoors.
Not all of our wild encounters will be that dramatic but they do not have to be. Simply going to that place where anything can happen and where wildlife roams free opens up possibilities.
Make a personal vow to spend more time outdoors this year. Find your own “white buffalo,” whether it be on the water, in the woods, up a mountain or across a great prairie. There is something wild out there that can inspire you to take your life to the next level and life you out of the doldrums.
You just have to step beyond the pavement to make to happen.
To contact Chester Moore, email him at email@example.com. You can hear him on “MooreOutdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at www.klvi.com.