During harvest rush, get ready for hunting

Our part of the country is running at full speed with harvest. This is an especially good time to notice game animals and birds we will pursue in the weeks and months ahead.

I don't know how many doves will be in the South with the near record corn, milo and soybean acreage to feed on, but one thing is certain: doves at the open of this year's hunting season will be scattered from here to yonder.

Ponds, old tree lines and a ready food supply will surely create a good location to bust-a-cap. A dove likes a relatively clean place or spot to land and feed. Keep this in mind as you go about bush-hogging and shredding turnrows and other grassy areas.

I am reloading a box of shells every once in a while and shooting clay pigeons for practice in the afternoons to make sure my old shotguns will function.

I hope Louisiana Tech will be back in session by the first Saturday in September — at least I might have a couple boxes of shells left by then. My son, Ruff, enjoys shooting as much as or more than I do. Many of you might have a son like my Ruff. I don't know how many shells and clay pigeons he could shoot in one setting. Youngsters like him might be our hopes to continuing outdoor activities.

Now is the time to buy a first shotgun for smaller children. Get them started — under strict adult supervision. Ruff's first shotgun was a Winchester semi-auto 20 gauge. With the stock cut to fit, we loaded one shell into an empty ejection port. With the bolt released, he could fire only one shell and the semi-auto design made it safe. As he grew and matured, a plug in the shotgun magazine was shortened to allow him to shoot two times. He still has his first shotgun. Think about this over a single barrel shotgun.

We will see all kind of game in the fields while harvesting. Pay attention to deer movement. Often deer remain in the general vicinity of their sightings.

Archery season will generally open in Louisiana Oct. 1. That day will be here before we know it. Start shooting your bow and arrows. Check out arrows, strings, cables and limbs, and other parts of your archery equipment to ensure your stuff is ready for your first hunt.

Whatever you do, make a trip to your hunting camp. Margaret Ann and I drove to look at our hunting leases one Sunday afternoon. I could not believe how things had grown. If the place wasn't so difficult to get to, I would have returned to the house and loaded up a tractor and bush hog to start cutting things down. The rainy weather has made food plots grow, too.

We went by our camp and set off some aerosol cans of insect spray. Maybe we won't get eaten up on our first night at the camp. We have lots to do in the next two months. I work so I can hunt and shoot, so one can see how my mind works.

We still have a lot of summer left. People are still pleasure boating and fishing. If you get in a boat, make double sure you have a good life jacket. Take this simple responsibility on yourself. Make sure you have a 200708 fishing license if you intend to fish. All Louisiana licenses expired June 30. Be courteous on the water.

We are truly blessed here in the South to have many lakes, rivers and streams to pursue our recreation desires.

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