August 16, 2001

Outdoor Corner

by Chris Feeney

A good friend of mine reminded me that there are just a couple weeks left in the race season. Don't get me wrong, I love the races and have enjoyed them this summer, but this gentleman is in the same boat as I am, with responsibilities that require him to be there every Saturday night as well as the other special events. Needless to say we are both ready for a break.

Well this fellow happened to make this comment to his wife, in the mindset that it would earn him some brownie points when his wife learned there were just basically three lefts to the local race season. You know what her response was? "Well doesn't hunting season start in about four weeks?" You know, she is exactly right. So instead of finally getting a weekend to work on that honey-do list or whatever else the wife may have in mind, we both will simply be turning in the race agenda for our hunting attire.

This hit home as I was returning home from a trip to the farm Sunday evening (hey I actually was doing some of that honey-do list, tearing down old barn siding to use in remodeling the attic). It's just a short little run on the gravel road but in that time I saw a couple turkeys picking through the soybeans, four deer sneaking out of the draw at the end of the field, and had to slam on the brakes to miss the pair of quail that darted across the road. Now I've been known to exaggerate a time or two, but this was just how it happened.

It made me stop and think (beyond just the fact that I might want to get my brakes checked) that it's nearly that time of year. I have been noticing plenty of doves on the power lines and mingling in the dust on the field edges. It's more of a rarity not to see turkey than to see them so that's no surprise but fall season will be here before we know it. Then we follow that up with the opening of bird season. Now this is an area of concern for me. I've seen a few quail here and there but I have seen absolutely zero pheasants. I'm afraid they are on their way out.

I've noticed the hay bales showing up in the backyards and a few bow targets being put up. The NFL football season is nearing and the local softball and football teams will be taking to the field in just a week or two. It seems like summer just started but school starts next week, so that means fall is not far away. No more than I golfed and fished this summer, I'll have to say I'm ready for the transition. Then when the snow starts falling and we are all busy decorating the Christmas tree I can start whining about how fast fall went by and how little hunting I was able to do.

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