Sousa: After World Series, hunting beards may be idea whose time has come

Today’s column covers many items as we go up and down the outdoors field from a hunting “Beardski,” to a 1934 wolf hunt story that appeared in The Republican, to an invasion of Western Mass fishermen into the national salt and fresh water competition championships.

The Beardski manufacturer hit the market at just the opportune time as the Boston Red Sox batted and pitched to a World Series win behind a band of bearded brothers.

Now baseball, hunting and outdoor aficionados can pursue their favorites from the red hot Sox to the cold and chills of winter hunting by wearing a beard made of cozy thermal fleece with a waterproof neoprene chin and low-face ‘toasty’ touch.

Of course the beard is a type of fluorescent orange.

May I suggest a camouflage beard for next bow season as the latter part can get pretty chilly.

For more info go to

LOCAL NATIONAL FISHING CHAMPS: First Sean J. Lloyd of Springfield won the National Bass Anglers American Fishing Tour National Tour Championship in Georgia with the highest total catch which included two large mouth bass each totaling nearly seven pounds. I first met him when he joined our annual canoe trip and caught the largest fish, a skinny pickerel.

Now along comes Kevin Willette, a wounded soldier from Chicopee.

The Islamorada, Florida Keys annual Cheeca Lodge All-American Backcountry Tournament was held Veterans Day.

Rob Dixon from Clarksville, Tenn., and Willette had a combined catch-and-release total of 2,780 pounds.

Guided by Key Largo’s Captain Mike Makowski, the duo earned the title of Grand Champion Team during their first-ever Florida Keys fishing experience.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Bonefish Tarpon Trust. WOLVES FROM OUT OF THE PAST: The word wolf always makes me a little jealous. A friend in my class had the wonderful name of Wolfgang Werndli. And I didn’t even have a middle name. Perhaps we were poor, I don’t know. I did have three middle initials for a while – Sgt. Frank NMI Sousa.

The NMI stood for ‘no middle initial’. I used the NMI middle initials after discharge until brought in for questioning on forgery. Later I found out that the head of detectives in Chicopee, a dear friend of mine had rigged the ruse.

Glen Stewart, son–in-law of my brother-in-law Bill Messier, sent me a piece out of a 1934 Republican he discovered in a cache of old papers.

It seems a farmer and his pack of three hounds were chasing a wolf that had been killing domestic animals.

It was a hearty group as man, dogs and wolf were chased for 15 hours before the farmer downed the exhausted wolf.

The three hounds were so exhausted, that they lay down beside the dead wolf and slept. As did the farmer.

Thanks Glen.

There are a thousand stories out there; please feel free to share them through this column.

DANNY THE DONUT BOY: After each pheasant hunt with the sons and grandsons, we head to the local donut shop where I reward Chumley, my English setter, with a glazed donut.

While sitting in my deer blind on Veterans Day, with the usual amount of daydreaming time that such sits can hold, I thought of Danny the Donut Man. Actually Danny was a teenage boy who gave us squirts free donut holes.

Then one day Danny was gone and the new guy, who said “no more free donuts,”, told us “Danny signed up to fight some war.”

We cried when we heard Danny was killed, and not just because of the free donuts.

Perhaps free riders on America’s train should recognize Veterans Day more than one single day, maybe even 365 days a year. 

Frank Sousa can be reached 
P.O. Box 207, Granby, MA 01033; or fax (413) 467-2174 

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