10 Things you Must Know and Love to Be an Arkansan
There's old saying down south -- "Southern bred by the grace of God." Southerners love their way of life no matter what state they're from. But here in Arkansas, we're a bit more particular I guess you could say. So if you intend on becoming an Arkansan you better love these things, too.
If you live in Arkansas, it's practically considered a religion because you live for hunting season. Bow hunting season, muzzleloader season, modern gun season, it doesn't matter. Whether it's deer, duck, squirrel, rabbit, elk, bear, turkey and yes, even alligator -- the Natural State is the place for some great hunting. Like a line from Luke Bryan's song, there's nothing like "Huntin' Fishin' Lovin' Everyday."
Right up there with hunting, there are 600,000 public acres of lakes and more than 9,000 miles of flowing streams and rivers. Arkansas has 52 Game and Fish Commission lakes, Corps of Engineers lakes, wildlife management area lakes and the White River Refuge Lakes scattered throughout the state. We have numerous species of fish in Arkansas like bass, crappie, catfish, and trout. If you can't find something to fish for in this part of the country there's something wrong with you.
If you grow up in Arkansas, there's only two words to ever know and love and that's Arkansas Razorbacks. Some people say when a child is old enough to utter his or her first words it's "Woo Pig Sooie." Arkansas people are passionate about their sports. You put hunting, fishing and Razorback football together in one sentence and that's a lethal combination. If you plan on living in Arkansas you better learn how to call them Hogs. Of course, I'm still trying to figure out why we tailgate and serve up pork BBQ and do a pig roast. But that's a story for another day.
If it has four wheels and big tires in Arkansas, it's synonymous for off-road mud bogging, ATV rock climbing through creeks and ravines, and beautiful mountainside scenery. Arkansans are never afraid to get a little little dirty. Couple that with a bonfire, some live music and some cold ones and you've got a party anyone could enjoy.
Nope, I'm not talking about the Kool-Aid your mom use to make when you were a kid. I'm talking about good old-fashioned moonshine made from grains and fruit and put into a mason jar. This is where Arkansans get stereotyped as hillbillies with no teeth walking around wearing overalls and carrying banjos. But man is homemade Kool-Aid good.
You are not living until you've had biscuits covered in chocolate gravy. A southern tradition for generations and if you want to add a little more flavor toss in some bacon bits. Hey, don't knock it until you try Trisha Yearwood's dad's recipe. You master this southern dish and Arkansas may claim you before you can spell y'all correctly.
Arkansans are known for being grill masters. If it can be thrown on the grill -- even if it can't -- it's more than likely going to be grilled during football season. You'll be hard pressed not to find someone grilling out in the neighborhood this time of year.
If you live in Arkansas you'll be amazed how many trucks you'll see with chrome wheels with big mud tires and a 6 inch lift. But we don't want to get them dirty. No way. That's why you shouldn't be surprised if these trucks never make it off the road because more than likely they're towing their UTV Ranger for use off the road. Don't you just hate it when you get some mud splashed on your new shiny wheels?
In Arkansas, it doesn't have to be hunting season to be sporting camouflage. Just make sure you wear Mossy Oak or Realtree brand and you'll be the fashion king or queen. Oh, and don't forget the overalls -- something you'll see a lot in Arkansas. Just make sure they're the Big Smith or Dickies. And when you attend a wedding upscale to Carhart or you'll be highly embarrassed.
People from other parts of the country say we talk funny and they can't understand a word that comes out of our mouths. Well, you know what we feel the same way about them. We can't help it if we were born with a southern drawl and say words like "You Reckon," "Fixin' To," and "Kinda Don't Care" the title of Justin Moore's new album. The bottom line in Arkansas is we have a motto and that's God, Family and Country. If you can adapt to any of these ways, then welcome to Arkansas.