Reflections on Hunting

It’s the time of the year when hunters show themselves then walk into the woods.  It’s a time that makes me a little nostalgic for a time when everybody was a hunter-not because I hunt but because the fall always brought my family together for deer hunting. Milking cows maintained a priority through the deer hunting season when I was young, but just barely-hunting was a close second.

I don’t need to go into the woods to see that it is hunting season, it’s as close as any convenience store. Hunters are an innovative bunch and portable goose blinds are a popular method of hunting if my convenience-store survey is accurate. I have seen several trailers laden with material meant to blend into an area that waterfowl would frequent.  While I haven’t climbed into one of these mobile structures, it’s obvious that you climb inside so as to blend into the grass, reeds or cat tails that make up a swamp or field of CRP. Although most of these structures spend their productive time in the field, they typically pass through the convenience store as their owners get gas, coffee and food.

I think many deer hunters have a need to farm. Food plots are a big part of deer hunting which is an excellent opportunity for the average person to own a tractor, a disc, a harrow and maybe even a seed drill. I enjoy seeing the various trailers that showcase the plot-seeding method employed by each individual as they pass from city to woods. Many of the combinations feature a new tractor, fresh from the showroom floor coupled with some pre-World War Two tillage- fresh from the tree row. I enjoy the contrast between the two pieces of equipment and the combination makes sense. Smaller, used tractors-such as used in planting a deer plot-are priced at a premium so buying new doesn’t cost that much more and is much easier. The use of older tillage makes sense too as the cost of new tillage equipment will light your hair on fire. I mean the purpose is to simply incorporate seed into the first layer of soil, it should not cost so much money.

I enjoy the home-made plot seeders too. These vary from old pony drills, simple spin-spreaders and even large row crop planters that have been made into several smaller planters.  Some of the planters made from larger models are sophisticated and may use no-tillage coulters, precision planter units and even some that come equipped with liquid-fertilizer applicators. It’s all in the name of creating wildlife habitat but I think the truth is that all that equipment is just a little larger version of the toys we all played with in the sandbox.

The camouflage that makes hunters blend into the woods, it’s serves as a signal that the seasons are exchanging themselves. It’s a good time to see the woods, enjoy the quiet and appreciate nature. Here’s to a safe hunt and a long, temperate fall.


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