Well, hopefully we’ve all had a pretty good time with the summer’s bounty of great outdoor activity weather.
Fishing in all forms seems to have been decent with plenty of great reports. (really, we always want to catch just a few more fish)
Picnics, swimming, lounging around, having a laugh, kielbasa on the grill and a cold one with family and friends. Ahhh…. the good life.
As the August heat turns down a bit, it’s the perfect time to take an early morning hike in the woods.
Many of our readers will spend this woodland-walk time checking for the growing amount of deer sign. Though we are not talking about a frenzy of breeding activity, we are looking at more than the everyday eating patterns of the whitetail.
It’s the little things, that if noticed, will lead to bigger signs and it’s better to prepare now for them.
With these exploratory walks in mother nature, we can learn so much and we don’t have to worry about permanently spooking game from their range.
Best of all, it’s just a walk in the woods. It’s done leisurely with the idea in mind that things ‘will change’ as the fall sets in.
Through the many years hunting in the western end of the state, with its great hills, mountains and streams gurgling through valleys, you start to see repeated patterns of where to find deer sign.
Trails that run along the hillsides, lookout spots where they can see over things, trails leading in and out of swamps, and of course the stone wall openings so often used.
With these shakedown scouting forays, we can make our mistakes early enough to make adjustments and corrections to our approach. More importantly, we get better at being more like the world around us, blending in and slowing down.
The woods are not our world; we don’t have to survive day in and day out there. We have about 4,000 times less sensitive sense of smell and we smell ‘strong-wrong’ to wildlife out there. Our pursuant game has everything over us. It is their world; we are the visitors in it.
Learning is our biggest advantage. Don’t rely on all the great technology to fill in the blanks. The tools to find game animals are just tools and nothing more. Your own ability and willingness to understand and make adjustments is the wonderful part of pursuing game.
If it were easy everyone would be doing it! Ethical sportsmen have never been the problem, we have been the answer for putting meals on the table and continuing the balance of nature with our roll of dominant predator.
We can trace wildlife’s success back to good old Teddy Roosevelt and the law-abiding sportsmen who have participated in the management of wildlife through good laws.
Think of it this way: Ethical users of natural resources are contributors to the overall health, not the overall decline, of our wildlife, and purchasers of hunting and fishing licenses are a major part of that.
Zoologist Rosie Cooney once told The New York Times that wildlife on a large scale has increased in the 20th century in only two places: southern Africa and North America. “Both of those models of conservation,” she said, “were built around hunting.”
Every time we step-out we will increase our ‘woods-wise’ levels beyond where we are now.
Let’s all be good keepers of wildlife and nature while we enjoy the great outdoors!
ELMERS NEW FRIEND: We were so glad to see the safe return of our grandchildren Suzanne and Brendt Gordon after their summer jobs in Colorado came to an end.
With them came a fuzzy pup named ‘Leroy’, from the song’s namesake of folk singer Jim Croce: ‘Bad, bad Leroy Brown.’
Well this little fella is anything other than bad, and Elmer knows it.
The three of them took the long drive home from Colorado Springs with some great stops along the way. The biggest being Mt. Rushmore, one of this great nation’s most awesome treasures.
But it was in our kitchen in Granby that Leroy and our guy Elmer got to meet and establish their ‘pals for life’ moment.
Elmer was kind and gentle as he welcomed the new member to the long history of the ‘Sousa dog clan.’
Hmmmm… I wonder if he’ll teach the little guy to fly over fences like he’s known for.
BLACK BEAR SEASON: Black bear is up next for hunting and there are three seasons in all 14 zones of MA. The first starts Sept. 3 and runs through Sept. 21.
You will need a valid bear hunting permit for any of the three seasons with the limit one bear per year.
Hunting implements are restricted by season, with revolvers permitted during first season only.
For all the black bear hunting regulations check online at: www.eregulations.com
NATURE FOR CHILDREN: On Sept. 14 there will be a program ‘Growing Up WILD: Exploring Nature with Young Children’ in Amherst, MA.
This is an early childhood education activity guide that builds on children’s sense of wonder about nature and invites them to explore wildlife and the world around them.
To register or get more info, contact Pam Landry at [email protected].