I accidentally became a professional hunter and angler

I had the opportunity to talk to a group of school kids a little while back, where I was supposed to tell them how college was important to my success. It turned into a talk about how to become a professional hunter and fisherman.

I was asked to speak to a class of high school kids a while ago, to tell them how a college education was important to the careers I’ve had. I guess they asked me because the students in the class were all very interested in hunting, fishing and anything else dealing with the outdoors. Since I do this blog about the outdoors and have been the outdoors editor at a newspaper, a writer for a wildlife magazine, and currently a wildlife photographer, the teacher thought I might be a good person to talk to the class.

She explained to me before the presentation that I should tell the kids about how I had to get a college education in order to get all these jobs. And honestly, I tried to get that point across. But I didn’t get two minutes into my talk before the kids started asking about hunting and fishing, and I just can’t help myself.

At one point, it occurred to me that in the course of my career, I’d made good on the promise I’d made to my own parents when I was just a kid. I had been talking to my parents, who were trying to make sure I was on track to go to college, when my mom asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I told her I didn’t need to go to college, because I was going to be a professional hunter. She laughed at me and said there’s no such thing as a professional hunter, and that I better get a college degree so I could get a real job.

But all these years later, I realized we were both right. I got that college degree – actually a few of them – and used them to get my jobs as an outdoor writer and photographer. Now I get paid to go on hunting and fishing trips

I just hope I got the point across to the kids in that class that I couldn’t have done it without those college degrees.