Saturday, February 4th, 2023
Saturday, February 4th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Litter in our outdoors: not just an Illinois problem

While scanning the Outdoor News web site, I stumbled
onto fellow Blogger and Ohio Outdoor News Columnist, Steve
Pollick. Mr. Pollick’s story titled, “Some so-called ‘sportsmen’
are trash- tossin lowlifes” instantly caught my attention.

In Steve’s blog, he most certainly documents a valid point. Mr.
Pollick just “tells it how it is” in this article without any
regard to political correctness, and I applaud him for doing

For the April, 2010 issue of Illinois Outdoor News, I
submitted a Commentary titled “It’s up to outdoorsmen to clean up
Illinois.” It is sadly apparent that Illinois is not the only state
in which litter is a problem.

Below, you will find a reprint of my story. I also urge you to
go to the Ohio Outdoor News and check out Mr. Pollick’s
story as well. Litter is an obvious problem that can be solved.
Please take the time to read both stories and pass them along to
friends. Maybe we can make a difference.

I want to take this opportunity to say, “kudos, Mr. Pollick, for
a job well written.” Unfortunately, I am not a subscriber to the
Ohio Outdoor News and only a portion of the story was
featured as a blog. The entire story by Mr. Pollick was featured in
the April 15 issue of the Ohio Outdoor News. I sure would
like to know what else Mr. Pollick had to say!

Meanwhile, here is the reprint of my earlier story on the
same subject…

It’s up to outdoorsmen to clean up Illinois

One Sunday morning in late February, I awoke early and decided
that I could use some exercise. After my first cup of coffee, I
convinced myself that a nice quiet nature walk would surely do me
some good. After my second cup, I actually thought that maybe I
would take a trash bag along and pick up a few aluminum cans on the
way. I may as well make a buck and get healthy all in one shot!

After my third cup, I set off on my “journey of discovery,” but
what an awful discovery lay ahead. Not only did I make my fortune
in aluminum cans, I was shocked and appalled to see all of the
other litter that was choking the southern Illinois landscape. I
can honestly say that while driving these roadways every day, I
never noticed the amount of trash just piling up along our
beautiful countryside. It wasn’t until I set out afoot that I fully
observed the scope of this human inconsideration.

As I walked along, I thought about the television commercial of
the Indian looking at the pile of rubbish with a tear in his eye. I
now understood the message the old Indian was trying to convey. I
also began to curse and lay blame on those that were responsible
for the action of discarding whatever they wanted as they drove
along. I then questioned as to why the local County Road District
or some other organization hadn’t come to pick up this refuse.

I then started pointing fingers at the local Sheriff’s
Department, demanding answers as to why no citations were being
issued and as to why the use of “Chain Gangs” were not being
implemented to clean up this mess. All the while, I am walking
alone and no one is giving me the answers I want! Just then, it was
as if someone drove by and hit me in the head with a tossed beer
bottle. I had an answer!

I am an outdoorsman. I care about this land. I cannot sit back
and wait for someone to do something. I have to make it happen. I
will protect the landscape from the thoughtless individuals who use
my countryside as their garbage cans. I will pick up the litter and
I will ask for anyone else who cares to help me! I hope all
outdoorsmen and women feel the same way!

Needless to say, my one trash bag wasn’t enough for all the
trash and aluminum. I had to make plans for the next weekend to
“police up” the neighborhood. With the help of my 7-year-old
neighbor, Zach, we set out on the first Saturday of March to gather
everyone else’s trash. Within a mile of my driveway, Zach and I had
collected 13, 13-gallon trash bags full of garbage plus another 6
pounds of aluminum cans! Unfortunately, our efforts were short
lived because by the beginning of the third day after the clean-up,
someone once again left a deposit of trash along the road that we
had just cleaned.

I am telling this story as a plea to my fellow outdoorsmen and
women. If we do nothing to clean up and protect our countryside and
habitat we are no better than those who have soiled it. We must
make an effort to keep our resources precious. We can show those
who are opposed to our sport of hunting and fishing that we care
about the land and the animals just as much as they do but we are
also doing our part by taking the time and making the effort to
clean up.

I issue this challenge to you: Pick a day and take your
family, friends, or hunting and fishing buddies and clean up the
roadway. Just a half mile in either direction can make a huge
difference. Maybe you live in town or in an area that is free of
all this nonsense. If that is the case, head to your favorite
hunting or fishing spot and do your good deed there. If we don’t
clean up, no one else will. The countryside is a wreck but we can
fix it! Please don’t litter. Teach your children not to litter.
Most of all, let the dirty birds that do litter know that we are
serious about this action and we will not tolerate them tossing
their crap out of the window onto our natural beauty.

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