I just returned from the Republic of Texas. Twelve hours across country, each way. Atlanta to Fort Worth and then back again. I-20 all the way. What a haul it was, but well worth the effort.
Texas remain at the top when it comes to domestic fish and game destinations for many outdoorsmen and women.
In my opinion, Texas is the true “Sportsman’s Paradise” based on the fact that across the great state you’ll find ample opportunity to hunt and fish. Let me see … Turkey, Quail, Ducks, Geese, Snipe, Boar, Rabbit, DEER, Bass, Panfish, Catfish, Specs and Reds, Shrimp, Offshore Gamefish … the list goes on. I type DEER in all caps because in Texas DEER are BIG. I saw a mule deer mount on the wall at a diner in Stephenville, Texas that made me believe his body must have been larger than the giant longhorn steer I saw at the Stockyards in Fort Worth. Point is, Texas offers outdoorsmen the chance to pursue something every day of the year. What a place to do what you love.
I didn’t head to Texas to pursue wild game or fish this time. I went to Texas to show Texans how to cook steak. You read that right. Our Georgia-based Bar-B- Que and cooking crew, “Smokesouth,” headed to Hico, Texas to see how they would fare in the annual Texas Steak Cookoff. We spent most of our time in Stephenville, Granbury and Fort Worth as well as Hico. These towns vary in size and population, but one thing that consistently came to my mind was the pure generosity, kindness, and rooted nature of the folks we encountered. Rooted explains how Texans’ roots run deep and keep them true to their heritage.
Rooted also means they seem to stay connected to reality, thus arrogance and selfishness aren’t apparent. Texans also love Texas, and rightly so. What a great place.
We got what we figure to be 13th out of 83 teams, so we were happy. I think what made us happiest was the fact that people took time to tell us how much they enjoyed our food. Again, Texans doing something a bit outside the norm in today’s world. Making strangers feel welcome and exhibiting a hospitality and politeness that was truly noteworthy ….  deep in the heart of Texas.
Randy Schiltz

Randy Schiltz

Randy Schiltz is a Fly Fishing Instructor, NSCA Level 1 Sporting Clays Instructor, outdoor industry product rep for several outdoor manufacturers, avid outdoorsman, father of 3 girls and husband to 1 patient wife. He was born in Decatur, Georgia and now resides in Cumming, but is often deep in the north Georgia mountains or standing in a river in pursuit of trout.