Tis the Season
September is the month that traditionally ushers in hunting seasons in most of this country. September 1 has just about always meant the opening of dove season and the beginning of hunting season in general. I was born on that date, too. Maybe that was destiny, maybe not but it seemed appropriate for many years. I never was much on dove hunting but I was always out there somewhere during the month either with a bow or stalking the squirrel woods. My destination was usually somewhere in Virginia or Maryland. I followed the seasons from September until I pulled my water traps on February 28. I had that drive and had to be out there through the seasons. There were a couple of weeks to fish a little before it was time to head south for turkeys. But, it was a constant drive that never let up.
West Virginia didn’t use to have much to offer hunters as far as seasons go in September. I believe it was pretty much doves and maybe an early waterfowl season for many years. Things have changed over the years. We now have archery season for deer, bear and wild boar plus an early gun bear season in selected counties. Squirrel season opens on the 12th and migratory bird seasons open during the month. There are plenty of things for the WV hunters to get ready and look forward to. I know I will be out there every day in search of the elusive Chicken of the Woods.
Things change and people change. I know that as I got older and gas prices got higher I slowed recreational travel almost to a dead stop. Travelling out of state to hunt ended for me; as did those hundred mile trap lines. It just was not feasible. I never thought that I would quit doing all of those things that were pretty much seasonal every day routines. They were my way of life; that is what I did and I did it for a long time. Nope, you never think you will give up doing things that you think you love to do. But, things change.
Sometimes, we get smarter as we get older. I for one never lost that drive I had to become a successful and consistent hunter and trapper. I just learned to channel that drive into other things. I imagine that I now hunt about 360 days per year and I enjoy it immensely. I am now out there on a daily basis usually not more than one or two hours hunting and looking. I find that very rewarding and I find lots of good stuff. I may be pursuing birds, butterflies or fungi; rarely is it planned. I may be out there just hunting a little quiet or the sound of flowing water. My senses are as sharp as or sharper than ever. I am able to stay tuned in throughout the year.
Yes, I still hunt some and I have all of the venison and turkey I need in the freezer. But, hunting season to me is just like gardening season. When it is time to harvest your crop, go do it, get it done and go right on to the next thing in line. It is always hunting season for me.
This is my article for the September 2015 issue of Two-Lane Livin
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