Ted Cates contemplated family traditions as he watched three granddaughters make casts with rods and reels on Saturday, Sept. 24, during National Hunting and Fishing Day activities at the Missouri Department of Conservation's (MDC) James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area.
“This reminds me of almost 20 years ago when I was bringing my boy out there when he was little,” said Cates, of Independence, as he leaned back in a lawn chair on a pond bank.
Cates and his son attended fishing derbies at the area near Lee’s Summit and caught some large bluegill. But on Saturday, he watched that same son, Ted Cates Jr. of Odessa, help his two daughters and a cousin bait hooks and make casts.
“Got one,” said Andreya Cates, 9, as she reeled in a largemouth bass.
Connecting people with a fish – and the outdoors – is why special events are held each year on National Hunting and Fishing Day.
James Parkinson of Raytown attended because he hunted and fished with his father as a teenager, but a few decades have passed since he touched a rod or gun. Parkinson watched as his daughter and her friend tried trapshooting with shotguns and ammunition provided by MDC, with safety supervision and shooting tips provided by conservation agents.
“I’m trying to get myself back into the outdoors again and get the kids into it,” he said. “I’m tired of the computers and the video games, and I’m trying to do something different.”
Madison Parkinson, 14, his daughter, said the trapshooting was their last stop on a day that also included target archery and catching sunfish at the fishing pond.
“I only hit one (clay pigeon),” she said. “But I liked it. It was fun.”