Travel around our part of Central Arkansas, and you might see piles of brush, the remnants of old trees, limbs and other woody debris perhaps left from windstorms.
Farmers who leave such brush piles in their fields likely aren’t lazy but smart. They also might be good sportsmen, interested in keeping habitats for the wildlife on their farms.
So says Joe Mosby, Arkansas’s best-known outdoor writer, who was honored Saturday night at the Arkansas Sportscasters and Sports Writers Hall of Fame banquet with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Mosby, 80, is the retired news editor of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission who continues to write a weekly column and several stories on the outdoors distributed by the Arkansas News Bureau and published in several state newspapers, including the Log Cabin Democrat.
Mosby has been encouraging people — not just hunters and fishermen — to get outdoors, “under nature’s canopy,” for decades.
He was inducted into the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame in 2002.
He’s the best friend of the sportsman, knowing — and telling — where the fish are biting, when deer seasons open, why the ducks aren’t — or are — as plentiful as before.
Through his writings, he shares experiences as if you were right there with him, sitting around the campfire, cleaning a mess of fish for the next morning’s breakfast.
And he writes about the treasures of Arkansas with the passion of a man who has heard the elks bugling in Boxley Valley, felt the tug of a trout on his line in the White River and made memories on Petit Jean Mountain.
As sure as the rabbits live in the brush pile, he seems to say, this Arkansas is our habitat. Get outdoors. Watch, listen, touch, enjoy.
Others receiving recognition at the Arkansas Sports Club banquet were:
• Former University of Arkansas Athletic Director Frank Broyles, who served several years as an ABC analyst for college football, Sportscaster of the Year.
• Former Arkansas Gazette reporter Wadie Moore, Sportswriter of the Year.
• The family of the late Arch Jones received a service award.
• Don Nixon was honored as Member of the Year for the Arkansas Sports Club.