Being a sportsman isn’t about
harvesting the biggest whitetail buck or the biggest fish known to
man. It’s about enjoying the great outdoors in the manner of
your choosing. Like observing wildlife and learning an animal’s body
language and signals. Whether it’s a rutting buck chasing a doe
lowered and lip curled or that big bass homing in on that new lure ~
being a sportsmen is enjoying the whole experience.
Being a sportsman is also about going out into
to the outdoors and listening to the birds singing and the turkeys gobbling or the bass splashing or the deer grunting... you can sit back
and be thankful for what our father in heaven has given us all to
enjoy and be able to embrace his love for each of us.
When the leaves start to change and
the nights get cooler and the days get shorter we know that bow season
is just around the bend. Out of all of the seasons bow season is our
favorite. We find archery season a lot more fun and challenging. It
really becomes fun right around Halloween because then the rut is in
full swing in our part of the state. And that means the bucks are so
preoccupied trying to find does
in estrus they become almost oblivious to their surroundings,
sometimes even a hunter
After archery season then comes our
second favorite season ~ regular season for shotgun and muzzleloader.
This season is
still very challenging but not quite as challenging as archery season. During shotgun
season the deer are more cautious of what’s around them due to
increased pressure from the
hunters in the woods. The downside is they become very weary and
skittish. The upside is that you may see deer that are not usually on
your property ~ maybe even a nice buck.
After shotgun season comes the second
or “late” season, which is for archery and for muzzleloaders.
This season is a little more challenging because the deer keep their
distance after running every time they hear something amiss out of the
ordinary. So it’s really hard to capitalize on this "late"
opportunity to harvest a deer.
After the second season is over winter
really sets in for our part of the country and nature balances out the
heard by eliminating the weakest animals. The winter of 2002-2003 was
particularly long and hard which drove the animals into their "winter
yards" which meant our front yards here in Alfred. It wasn't uncommon
to see deer, turkey and other critters in the front yard eating bird
food. And if they didn't find it on the ground... the deer would bump
the feeders (5ft off the ground) with their heads to shake the food
out and onto the ground.
Then spring comes and
the flowers start to bloom and the snow melts and the birds begin to
sing to announce the pending spring turkey season. In the spring you can only
harvest a tom because all of the hens are nesting over their eggs. After sitting and calling and sitting and calling a big tom
might come strutting in ~ full fan making it all worthwhile.
With summer comes
fishing season and that is 'reel' fun when you feel that big bass or what have ya
bites down and this pure adrenaline rush fills your heart just the
same as if it were hunting season or any other outdoor sportsmen experience.
And that friends, is what being a sportsman is all about.