The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Outdoors

April 1, 2012

The unofficial national holiday

April Fools’ Day can be just as fun for sportsmen as anyone else

Today is a light-hearted day we simply refer to as April Fools’ Day. The origins of the non-national holiday are uncertain and information is a little sketchy. Some say it started as a celebration related to the turn of the seasons, while others believe it stems from the adoption of a new calendar.

One theory is based on France changing its calendar in the 1500s so that the New Year would begin in January to match the Roman calendar instead of beginning at the start of spring. However, word of the change traveled slowly, and many people living out in the sticks continued to celebrate the New Year in the spring. These country dwellers became known as “April fools.”

Others disagree with that theory and believe April Fools’ Day grew from many of the age-old European spring festivals of renewal. Apparently, pranks and jokes at the festivals were common.

Nonetheless, April Fools’ Day is observed throughout the Western world and is a day of fun, including sending someone on a silly errand, looking for things that don’t exist, playing pranks and trying to get people to believe ridiculous things. Frankly, I find it hilarious.

What does April Fools’ Day have to do with the outdoors and sportsmen? The simple answer is, everything. Who better to pull a prank on than your hunting and fishing buds that you know so well and have inside knowledge of what really torques them off? You know how to push their buttons and today is the day to let your skills shine.

Just in case the holiday snuck up on you, here are some last-minute fun ideas to brighten the day and to lovingly say, “Thanks for being such a valued friend,” to the ones you care about the most. A side note: Your kids and spouse are fair game too. 

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Outdoors
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    Finally, warmer weather has arrived to the Mountain State. I’m told, it’s socially acceptable to be late nowadays and there is even a term for it — being fashionably late. Of course, I have also been told that camo is the new black in fashion. I don’t care much for tardiness, or for fashion for that matter, but I am perfectly content with the weather forecaster’s report as of late. And if wearing camouflage is trendy, I will fit in just nicely at any social gathering.

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    April 13, 2014

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    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

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    April 6, 2014

  • ‘A river runs through it’

    He was a natural at reading water. Whether in a kayak, a whitewater raft or a fishing boat, he simply saw water differently than most. He was good, no doubt about it. When I was learning to row a raft down whitewater, I asked him for his guidance. He would sit in the back of the raft coaching me on waters and their currents. With his help, I too began to see the waters differently and read the river.

    April 6, 2014

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    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

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    March 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • You may know more bird songs than you think

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    March 30, 2014

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    “Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog.”
    — Sydney Jeanne Seward

    March 30, 2014 1 Photo

Web Special Sections
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    Click HERE for stories about natural gas and Marcellus shale gas extraction.

    Click HERE for stories about the Upper Big Branch mine disaster.

    Click HERE for stories about the passing of U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd.

    Click HERE for stories from The Greenbrier Classic PGA TOUR event.

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