You would think that with nearly 68 years of experience, I would no longer be surprised – or maybe disappointed is a better word – that summer has somehow passed me by and now I wonder where it went ?
Not literally, but you know what I mean. All these plans I had for fishing trips, family reunions, hiking, camping, summer ball games, camping trips, bird watching, and just a few good relaxing nights at the old one on the porch with a bowl of ice cream covered in strawberries – where are they going?
Some of that happened, but not to the extent that I had envisioned. And, it never does. Plans change, bad weather happens and unexpected things happen. Lawnmowers break, air conditioners stop, paint peels, weeds sprout (well, not unexpectedly), and disease strikes. You just haven’t done all the fun things you hoped for. But, there is hope. There’s always next year.
And now, with the calendar turning to September, there’s fall – my favorite time of year. As an outdoor enthusiast, the possibilities are endless.
Fall is coming, and good fishing and hunting await you.
And while fall lends itself to some of the best fishing of the year, it’s the time every hunter has been waiting for. Whether it’s taking the grandson squirrel hunting in the woods, sitting in a duck blind waiting for the fog to lift, or hunting deer in the early season, it’s time for camouflage and the smell of shotgun shells just fired. It’s enjoying cool mornings and cool evenings enjoying nature, even if a deer doesn’t pass by your stand.
Fall is deer spotting and trail camera viewing. He hooks deer stands and cuts shooting lanes. It’s training with your bow and training with your weapon. It’s all about deciding when to take a doe or if you’ll let the 8 point walk. Are you expecting the monster or are you putting meat on the table?
Fall is your back against a row of corn, overlooking a field of doves, where you hope your practice with the shotgun will pay off in harvesting a few fast-flying birds.
Autumn heads to your blind duck, where you make sure everything is perfect for the day you call a flock into your spread. It’s when you work on that hole in your waders, maybe buy more decoys for hunting, or practice more with your duck and goose calls.
Fall is turkey hunting (although this year’s season has been shortened to 37 days due to a drop in turkey numbers) and the chance to put a real wild bird on the table for Thanksgiving.
Howling dogs, roosting on the line
Autumn is the sound of warm beagles on the scent of a rabbit, or dogs sporting a coon.
Fall is also the perfect time for Lake Erie perch fishing and the start of some of the best walleye opportunities of the year. Fall is when the chance of a double-digit “Walter” trophy increases with each passing day. Fall is when rainbow trout begin to congregate at the mouths of Lake Erie tributaries before heading inland to spawn, and when smallmouth bass continue to feed frantically as it fattens up for the winter.
Fall is pumpkin patch and apple orchard; it changes leaves; monarch migrations and hold hands on wildlife walks. Fall is for campfires and s’mores, that last canoe trip, collecting firewood and, sadly, getting ready for winter.
This fall, go out and enjoy it, and don’t let it pass you by.
OPENING DATES − The squirrel season started on September 1, as well as the dove, the rail, the snipe and the gallinule. Canada geese and teals (blue-winged, green-winged and cinnamon) started on September 3. ten.
Hunters are reminded to check regulations for changing season dates and daily limits as the 2022 fall seasons begin. A summary of the 2022-23 Hunting and Trapping Regulations can be found at wildohio.gov, at the HuntFish OH app, or wherever licenses are sold.
Outside Correspondent Art Holden can be reached at [email protected]