Outdoorsmen can keep secrets
The State Journal-Register
Can you keep a secret?
My grandma said there are two surefire ways to keep a secret. The first was to never breathe a word of it to anybody. The second was to tell nobody but her. She loved a good secret and kept them locked away tight.
Nobody ever found out where we cut wild asparagus, picked the best blackberries, gathered the biggest hickory nuts or what really happened to that red rooster found lying unconscious on the floor of the corncrib.
Most outdoor enthusiasts are willing to share what they know — to a point. We tend to categorize our knowledge in a manner similar to the U.S. government’s secrecy experts. We have secrets that are “Top Secret,” merely “Secret,” and some that are just “Confidential.”
Who gets what information depends on the person and what they might have to trade.
Exchanging experience-based information is part of the fun of the outdoor experience. However, our inner Daniel Boone just won’t allow us to impart all of our hard-learned tricks of the trade.
Top Secrets may never be revealed. Our aces in the hole, our go-to places when nobody’s catching any fish, seeing any pheasants or finding any mushrooms will never make it into the information-exchanging mix. Even Grandma wouldn’t have had the security clearance to get those GPS coordinates.
Information that is merely “Secret” is usually shared with hunting and fishing partners and impressionable youngsters who will forget what you’ve said as soon as their girlfriends call.
When imparting secret information, it’s OK to leave out some of the details. Very few good cooks will tell you every ingredient in their signature venison stew. A good trap shooter will give you enough pointers to help raise your score, but might hold back something that could bring you up to his level. Usually, a blood oath is the only way to gain access to secret information.
The lowest class of government, and hunting and fishing secrets, are those classified as “Confidential.” Some of these confidential tips for outdoor success you can read in magazines, or look up on some expert’s website. Some may even be true. Those insights may be unproven, laced with folklore, or just plain made up if it’s been a slow day in the expert blogging business.
I learned the secret of secret-keeping from the best secret keeper of all time. To this day, nobody knows the chain of events that turned Mr. Red Rooster into chicken pie. Grandma loved a good secret.
She said the trick to mum’s-the-word is having a short attention span ... or at least making people think you do.