Safest Place From Covid-19? The Great Outdoors

Chased Out Of Woods-By Drug Traffickers!
March 11, 2020
Forecast Excellent for Texas Turkey Season
March 24, 2020

Life looks different from 6,000 feet.

As someone who lives at about 10 feet elevation along the Gulf Coast, it’s awe-inspiring to see the world from this perspective, especially in Texas.

Standing on the southwest corner of Elephant Mountain at Elephant Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA) I was in awe of the vastness of wild habitat in front me and on a high from an incredible encounter.

Five minutes earlier I realized a childhood dream by photographing a herd of desert bighorn sheep that had stood on the mountain’s edge and vanished into a draw below after I snapped a few photos.

The author photographed this herd of desert bighorn sheep at Elephant Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA).

As I gazed at the natural beauty I thanked God for this moment and His Creation. At this particular time last November, I was struggling with the loss of a child my wife and I worked with through our ministry and being generally burnt out from an intense schedule.

But on Elephant Mountain it all melted away. There was no grief or fatigue-just peace and inspiration.

As COVID-19 makes its way around the globe and impacts America with the historic shutdown of activity and relentless concerning news dominating all media outlets, I have come to a conclusion.

The great outdoors is the safest place to be.

Coming from someone who has recently written about being chased up a tree by a hog in Central Texas and ran off a mountain by drug traffickers in the redwoods of California that might seem suspect.

But in reality, the greatest threats to my safety have come from highways (18 wheeler crash) and careless, dangerous people,, not the outdoors.

It had nothing to do with the woods, prairies, bays, lakes, streams, and mountains. And although that boar got a little too close for comfort, animals always bring me peace and joy. Whether I am pursuing crappie on brush piles or photographing bighorns in Texas and around the nation, it is a great source of peace in my life.

I look back at the incredible day on Elephant Mountain and truly inspiring work done by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and groups like the Texas Bighorn Society to bring the majestic bighorn back to Texas. And I think that at 46 years of age, someone who has been to incredible heights in wildlife experiences could still see dreams come true.

While we have no idea how long this pandemic will force society to change its ways, we should consider taking more time to go outdoors. As schools close and jobs shut down, there is no better time to take your kids and grandkids fishing, turkey hunting, hiking and engaging in wildlife photography.

Editor-In-Chief Chester Moore and his daughter Faith prepare to snorkel with manatees in Crystal River, Florida. This was one of the Moore family’s most precious outdoors experiences. They plan on making more in the coming weeks.

Instead of sitting home overdosing on media, seek the solace of wide-open spaces, tall trees, and beautiful streams. Let the marshes soothe your soul and the crashing waves of the surf remind you of beauty in this time of chaos.

I am not someone who thinks this is a tiny threat. I personally think it’s potentially a huge one.

But my faith tells me there is someone who will safeguard me and my gut tells me to avoid crowded places and seek the refreshing of the wild.

I wish I was on top of Elephant Mountain right but that’s an 11-hour drive for me.

The bayou down the road, however, is only a five-minute walk and there are plenty of bream to be caught and new memories to make as I bring my daughter along for the adventure. I might even take my fly rod along and practice for catching Yellowstone Cutthroat in Montana this summer.

Life is good and always better when it’s spend in the safety of the outdoors.

Chester Moore, Jr.




  1. Mark Hancock says:

    Chester I appreciate your inspiration during these troubling times. God’s will isn’t our will, but He gave all of us the courage and the backbone to defeat whatever this world puts in our path. Everyone has some way of dealing with pain or strife; mine just happens to be, like you, the world he created for us. The earth in all its majesty is my heaven.
    The pain of your loss and the wonderment of why is something Jesus carries in his heart. His love overcomes everything. Luckily I survived my Grizzly Adams youthful treks into the back country of Canada and Idaho when i should have been frozen or eaten by a griz. But I had to see. I thank the Lord for my father and grandfather who planted the seed of discovery in my soul. This morning I had the privilege of walking my two senior citizen labs (14 and 10) down to the creek to probably feel the last of the cool air for Goliad Co. this spring. Bluewings were buzzing around the lake. I should probably go stick a hog today, conditions are perfect.
    The point is no matter where you are, be it in downtown Houston or hiding under a bush in the mountains because its raining/sleeting sideways and you forgot your raingear again!, our Creator has something special for you.
    Look up look out or look down and it’ll be there. Sometimes in the middle of the sidewalk!
    Can’t wait to see the desert bighorns, blessings for your family and prayers for our nation.

  2. Alishia Robin Blevins says:

    Thank you ,
    My Husband Barry Blevins has one of your cards and we thank you .
    [email protected]

  3. Jimmy Salinas says:

    We have found solace and peace during this time with prayer, faith, family, and fishing the surf. The sea breeze hitting you in the face can be a relaxing peaceful stimuli to this otherwise potential stress inducing period.