January 30, 2020
By Adam Heggenstaller
You likely have noticed (and, we hope, have enjoyed) the “Bucket List” feature that has appeared in each issue of Game & Fish Magazine since September 2019.
While most of us do the majority of our hunting and fishing close to home, there are other places where, one day, we’d like to visit for the chance to take different game or fish species.
Perhaps you’re a Florida bass fisherman who’s always wanted to try for salmon in Alaska, or a whitetail hunter who would love to chase elk bugles through the mountains of Montana. Maybe your dreams include more exotic destinations: Argentina for doves, Namibia for kudu or New Zealand for brown trout.
Must Read: Bucket List — Bonefishing the Bimini Flats
Whether the trips require hours of driving or days of flying, we all have a personal hunting or fishing bucket list that we hope to check off during our lifetimes outdoors. I’ve spent many late nights around campfires discussing dream trips with fellow hunters and anglers (for the record, mine are a bighorn sheep hunt and a float down the Zambezi for tigerfish). The best conversations happen when someone in the firelight shares firsthand experiences from an adventure that continues to be the stuff of dreams for others.
We can learn a lot around such campfires; maybe the most important lesson is a dream trip can become a reality with proper planning. But even if a particular place or species seems out of reach, at least we can gain knowledge and fuel our imaginations by vicariously experiencing the sights, sounds and smells through the words of someone who has been there and done that.
Those are the goals the Game & Fish staff and contributors strive to accomplish in “Bucket List.” We want to drop you into the middle of the hunting and fishing action of your dreams, and offer advice on how you can make it happen.
The February issue of Game & Fish is on newststands now. Here’s a preview
In December-January’s issue, Larry Larsen takes us to the crystal-clear flats surrounding Bimini to feel the rod-straining surge of bonefish. The island chain is part of the Bahamas, and unlike adjacent areas like Grand Bahama Island and the Abacos, it was largely spared from the devastation of Hurricane Dorian last September. The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation assures anglers that Bimini (and many other islands) continue to offer excellent fishing.
It should be no surprise that tourism, which includes recreational fishing, is the top industry in the Bahamas. Tourism accounts for an estimated 51 percent of the Bahamas gross domestic product. While parts of the islands hammered by Dorian experienced total losses to both infrastructure and tourism revenue, others like Bimini remain open for business, generating dollars to sustain the country’s economy and aid in recovery.
Anglers traveling to Bimini for bonefish have become important players in the recovery process. Their dollars mean more to the Bahamas now than ever. It is just one example of where contributions by anglers and hunters go beyond conservation to benefit communities, a relationship Andrew McKean discusses in January’s “Conservation” column, “Plant the Seeds of Giving Back.”
Hunting and fishing profoundly affect not just our dreams, but also the real world on many levels.