October. Hearing this word immediately puts visions in my head. I can see the changing leaves falling to the ground; asters and goldenrod swaying in the breeze. I can feel the frosty morning and see the monarchs flutter in the sky during their long southward migration. Monarchs are now pretty scarce these days. Most of us know why and I’m not going to go into the reasons again. Nowadays, most of us have been able to count these once common butterflies that we have seen during the summer on one hand. Things change and often these changes are unexpected and beyond our control. Sometimes change is good; other times it is not.
I can watch the road through town and see that hunting season is near. Pickups and 4-wheelers loaded with corn are now the norm. The anticipation of squirrel season is now gone, too. The woods are silent. I guess squirrels aren’t cool, anymore. Fall turkey season has become a thing for a few dinosaurs and opportunists. Things change. Archery season is now the king of autumn. The only October season I look forward to now; is the late-October antlerless season. I always hope to get one in the freezer at this time. Success during this time will hopefully mean one less day spent in the sub-zero barren deer woods later on.
I really cannot seem to grasp the fascination people have with gadgets. I am amazed every time I make myself go into a store. I cannot believe the people wandering around, oblivious to anything around them except for their stupid phones. They will walk right into you clueless and sad. The same can be said about all of the hunting gadgets out there. I have never owned a trail camera, deer feeder, walkie-talkie, GPS or a 4-wheeler.I’ve never had any use or desire for any of these. But, for so many these are necessary pieces of hunting equipment. I often wonder why more time isn’t spent learning the animal, its habits and the habitat it lives in; instead of relying on technology to fill the freezer. I just cannot seem to understand the thought process. Why do you want to sit and stare at pictures of deer taken at 4am? I just don’t get it.
I always know that when the cold winds blow and I look back at 2014 I will have just as much meat in the freezer as anyone else. The thing that makes me glow is the fact that I spent a whole lot less time, money and fuel to get it. Yes, maybe change is good but maybe we should try to good back to our roots and make life more productive and rewarding.
Yes, sometimes I tend to feel like that old tattered monarch desperately headed south, trying to make the best out of a bad situation just to survive. I think sometimes that some of us have actually evolved to the point that we don’t need gadgets to survive. We have learned through trial and error how to make it on our own; on our own terms. That is a good feeling. I still hope; as the monarch does that things will get better, but my mind knows it probably will not.
This is my article in the October Print Edition of Two-Lane Livin
(c) 2014 High Virginia Outdoors Photo (c) High Virginia Images All Rights Reserved