In The Hunt
Jan 29th, 2008 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Jan 29th, 2008 at 12:00 AM
Success breeds success – and a busier schedule. Coming off a very successful 2008 Bassmaster Elite Series season, Randy Howell of Springville, Ala., finds he doesn’t have as much time to pursue his second outdoor love – hunting – as much as he’d like to.
Howell finished eighth in the 2008 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings, an accomplishment that qualified him for the 2009 Bassmaster Classic. The Feb. 20-22 Classic will be his eighth time in fishing’s most major event.
Earlier this month Howell hit Shreveport-Bossier City, La., for a few days of practice on the Red River, which will serve as the tournament waters. He’s had speaking engagements and other appearances, and he’s been spending a lot of time securing new sponsors for the 2009 Classic and Elite season.
Still, he made time for a hunting trip recently. His main motive was to give his two sons, 7-year-old Laker and 3-year-old Oakley, a deer-hunting experience.
That’s right: 3 and 7 years old. It’s a priority for Howell to have his kids enjoy and appreciate the outdoors. He wants his sons to have the same experiences he had when he was a kid growing up in North Carolina. Howell, in fact, was such an accomplished angler and hunter by age 12 that he was guiding anglers and duck hunters on Lake Gaston.
Howell has taken both his boys fishing many times, and Laker’s been hunting before, but the recent outing was Oakley’s first trip to the woods in pursuit of deer.
“He’s so rambunctious at 3 years old, he didn’t understand why we had to be quiet in the shooting house, but I wanted to get him out and see what hunting was about,” Howell said. “We saw a bunch of does, but nothing to shoot.
“With kids, sometimes you can’t be too concerned about the outcome as far as success in shooting a deer or catching a big fish,” he said. “You just have to go and let them experience it, from getting all suited up to seeing deer. They had a ball. That’s what’s important.”