Southern Roots Outdoors is a family of people who share the same roots- God, family and the outdoors…in that order. Our goal is to give back- making the disabled dreams able!
My name is Shawn Barr and I live in Goodbee, La. I have had a love for the outdoors since I was a young child. At the age of 5 or 6, my dad handed down his first shotgun that was also handed down to him. It was a J.C Higgins single shot 20ga and it had seen its better days. It kicked like a mule but I didn’t care- I shot it every chance I got. When I would visit my grandmother in what my family calls “the country” (Avoyelles Parish), I would hear my cousins and uncles talk about hunting and going to the camp and I was always interested in the stories they told and the experiences they talked about and I dreamed of being able to tag along. My dad wasn’t much of a hunter. He did teach me gun safety and brought me squirrel hunting behind my grandmothers house but I always wanted more – I wanted to get in the deer woods.
When I was 10 years old, I got a 20 gauge Mossberg pump for my birthday. My birthday is in February so as you can imagine, it was killing me to have to wait until hunting season came back around to use it. When Christmas finally rolled around, we were going to the “country” and the shotgun was the first thing I put in the car. The next morning it was raining and I woke my dad up as I was ready to go and he told me it was raining too hard and that we’d go the next day. I decided to go on my own, after all, I couldn’t get lost-the property had an old fence around it and I knew where we had set up to hunt in the past so off I went-in the dark, alone in the rain. I managed to kill one squirrel and it was on after that- you couldn’t keep me out of the woods. When it was time to go home, one of my dads close friends stopped by my grandmothers on his way back to his house in Ethel, La. I showed him my new shotgun and he asked my dad if he could take me deer hunting for a few days at his camp in Wilson, La. As you can imagine, the look I gave my dad was something of the sort of NO not being an option. No warm hunting clothes to wear for the cold front moving in, no buck shot shells and no idea what I was headed for, I was gathering what I had- he and my dad could talk later, I was ready to go. I’ll never forget when we got to the camp, it was 17 degrees and all I had was a pair of long johns and a pair of camo pants, some red toed rubber boots with cotton socks, a long john shirt, a button up camo shirt, a hat, a pair of gloves and some buckshot shells purchased at the gas station. My dads friend gave me a jean jacket with a wool liner and off we went. It was him, his two brother in laws and me. No electricity at the camp, no running water-just a camp with some bunk beds and a roof over our heads and wouldn’t you know I was in heaven! I could go on but I think you get the picture-frozen would be a good word but nothing was going to keep me from going. The next morning they sat me down next to a tree in pitch black darkness and said don’t move, we’ll be back to get you later. I thought to myself “where the heck would I go- I don’t know where I’m at”. At times I think they wanted me to quit going because every year from there on, I was in their shadow, tagging along every chance I got and some of the places they put me often made me wonder if I was put there in hopes that I’d quit asking to go. That simply wasn’t going to happen.
I hunted with them for many years after that. They raised me in the woods. Taught me discipline in the woods, how to be a sportsman, how to hunt, what to look for- everything they told me I applied it and I can’t be more appreciative and thankful that those guys took the time to bring a young kid and teach him what they knew. As time went on, they joined another club in Wilson (with electricity and running water) and still, I was there tagging right along. Now 22 years later, I still hunt in that club. I’ve been blessed in many ways along the way- meeting a whole new family of people, harvesting a few nice deer over the years, but most importantly, being able to watch the sun rise and set many mornings and evenings and spending time in Gods masterpiece- the outdoors. Saying all of this, I guess what I’m getting at is that had someone not shared the outdoors with me as a kid, I may not have ever known what it had to offer.
Now that you know how my roots got planted in the outdoors, I hope that you will help me give back to the sport of hunting and fishing and join the Southern Roots Outdoors family…where Roots Run Deep! Making the disabled’s dreams able!
-God bless, Shawn