The call of the wild is an invitation to John Pickens to take part in area adventure, whether it’s kayaking, fishing, hunting or teaching fatherless children outdoor skills. Growing up in Houston, Texas, John was introduced to outdoor activities by his father starting at the age of five. Yearly trips to a deer camp in Leaky,TX , he was taught the secrets of a deer blind and the rewards of patience on the waters of the Frio River. The early morning rituals have not been forgotten. Quietly, before the sun peeks over the horizon, John takes in the morning Scripture as he enjoys that first cup of coffee. Awakening to the task in front of him, he is able to see where to begin his day.
John and his wife Gloria enjoy traveling and especially to visit their grandchildren. One thing John knows for sure- language is all the same with a fishing rod in your hand! From hooking a great Sailfish in Costa Rica, to a Kingfish in the Persian Gulf, or a Snook in Naples, Florida…. Big smiles and handshakes all say the same thing – they let you know you’ve done good! And it is this special feeling of accomplishment John feels is important for children to know as they are growing up. Guided by the hand of his father, John learned the essentials of hunting, fishing and being outdoors. These basics lead him to expand in other parts of his personality but kept him tethered in knowing he could survive…one day at a time. Filling up his freezer with game and fish, John is a BBQ wizard and makes sure his family and friends are all well fed! His “falling-off-the-bone” beef ribs and chicken fried venison back strap are the delight of his son Jeff. The Bible study group at the camp house are partial to his Venison Carne Guisada and Wild Turkey Chili while Gloria enjoys snacking on his famous deer jerky. When John returns from an off shore fishing trip loaded with red snapper and shrimp, it’s time for a party!
John’s father, who was with Merrill Lynch for 35 years, taught him the art of investing not only in real estate but also in people. Working with KOZ and Generation Outdoors fulfills John’s mission in children’s ministry here in the Austin area. Sharing the discoveries of nature with each sunrise and sunset, John enjoys the monthly excursions with the groups. As an Elk and Kiwanis club member, he stays socially active with other volunteers in South Austin and Gonzales. Another ministry he feels strongly about is working with those in prison through the Bill Glass Organization. Whether it is handing out sandwiches or blankets to the homeless underneath the 7th Street bridge, serving his community keeps John active and constantly on the move!
John’s guiding hand to help his friends take the next step on their journeys in kayaking also assists them in selecting homes. He was there for their starter homes and is now helping their children through the rough waters of purchasing homes. Each venture is unique, each step through the buying process a new corner on the river to get through. John’s calming demeanor keeps his clients safely seated and gliding through to completion.