“A re you from Texas?
The question came from a tall gentlemen across the table at a beautiful fishing lodge on Mexico’s Lake Agua Milpa.
I was a little taken back because I don’t have much of an accent and had only been at the table for a few minutes.
“Yes, why do you ask sir?”
“Because, no one else thinks like that. No one thinks like a Texas accept a Texan,” he said.
The conversation had been about gun rights and although this occurred in 1998, I remember having unique opinions at the table.
Maybe what he said was true. Only Texans think like Texans.
Just as the old tourism slogan used to say, “Texas-it’s like a whole other country.”
That is true geographically as only Alaska tops Texas in land mass and as you will see in another article this month, there are many other outdoor attributes that truly set us apart.
But there is something else.
From its very foundations Texas produced rugged individualists that play by their own set of rules. And while it is easy to think that involves wearing a hat, cowboy boots and roping steers, that’s not the point. That’s a part of Texas culture that’s easy to see, but the underlying streak of individualism is much more powerful.
Whether it’s venture capitalists, cowboys, fishing guides or outdoor journalists such as myself there is no way to label what is Texas unless you see it or experience it. This is especially true in the outdoor world.
Without getting political or jumping onto any bandwagon, Texas is in many ways its own territory—unique unto itself.
And that is why this month we introduce Texas Outdoor Nation.
It has always been our desire to bring you the most in-depth outdoor coverage in the state but we realized we are more than just a state when it comes to fishing, hunting, wildlife and guns.
Texas Outdoor Nation is now a section of the magazine featuring a monthly uniquely Texas story. This month we feature the YO Ranch Headquarters and will tap into things within our borders you just cannot find anywhere else. And we are bringing in other departments under the banner and unifying the vision of Texas-centric in everything from our conservation coverage to fishing tips.
In doing so we will be seeking out not just sources, but those that embody the unique spirit of innovation in the outdoors. Whether it is the guides who run airboats up the Brazos to catch flatheads in the deep holes hidden by drought, or deer hunters who hunt without bait or permanent stands in the national forests in East Texas’ Pineywoods.
We have always covered those types of things, but I think we have at times missed the boat on digging into the unique nature of Texas deer hunting for example. You can read how to hunt deer hundreds of places, but what about how to hunt deer in Texas? And not only Texas but what about in the Post Oak Savannah or Trans Pecos or Hill Country? Each has its individual rut seasons, preferred foods, etc.
We are focusing intensely on those Texas specifics-even down to very localized areas to bring you information you flat out will find nowhere else. We are proud of what we have but refuse to rest on our laurels.
This is the 32nd anniversary of the publication, and we are excited to push ourselves to help you enjoy your time in this Texas Outdoor Nation at a new level.
And it is coming to the web as well. Beginning now you will see a Texas Outdoor Nation area of fishgame.com with new bloggers who have that Texas spirit and are bringing a different angle to the things we commonly enjoy in the Texas outdoors.
Last year I wrote of the frustration of outdoor lovers identifying themselves as “topwater specialists” or “primitive only bowhunters” or whatever. I in fact said that from now I was just calling myself a Texan.
And that is where I am today. I am of course a blessed citizen of the United States of America but in terms of the outdoor world I live in, it is about the Texas Outdoor Nation.
After all, where else would a ponytail wearing, flounder fishing, follower of Christ who believes in gun rights, but is more interested in bullsnakes than bullets fit?
But you see it is not about fitting. I couldn’t care less about that. It is about having a place big enough and unique enough to spread my wings and seek out destiny.
That is what we have in Texas, and that is what Texas’s forefathers saw here. Scholars have written at length about their desires and ambitions but in reality it can be summarized in one word.
Let it ring!
Email Chester Moore at [email protected]