Outdoor Writing Legend Retires

The other day I had the chance to go to the retirement party for Bill Sargent, the longtime outdoor editor at Florida Today newspaper in Melbourne, Florida. He decided to take a break and go fishing after 39 years in the business. Bill was the guy who gave me my start in outdoor writing, and as I mentioned when I spoke at the gathering, if it weren't for Bill, I probably would have become a doctor or a lawyer. Sargent hired me as an outdoor news-desk assistant in the mid '80s when I was 16 years old. He taught me more about journalism and communicating about the outdoors than I learned in four years of journalism school. In these days of looming budget cuts and shrinking newsholes, full-time outdoor writers at daily newspapers aren't faring as well as the manatees and bald eagles they cover. Bill was a classic hook-and-bullet outdoor writer, covering hunting and fishing with the same attention to detail employed by news reporters covering politics and crime. Bill will be sorely missed. Thanks and congrats, Bill. - Capt. Ted Lund