Mid-South moving to seasons of hunting, harvesting

Well here we are. The year is over half gone. Fall is fast approaching. Two major events are about to happen for many of us. Harvest and huntin' season.

I mention harvest in an outdoor piece for two reasons. Here in northeast Louisiana there is not much cotton planted. This means many of you will be involved in a grain harvest that will be over long before a cotton harvest.

I'm thinking this might be the year for, perhaps, your once in a lifetime out of state hunt.

I write about such as this as often as I can. I'm telling you, once you complete an out of state hunt, particularly a Western state hunt, you will be a “junkie.” All you have to do is make a few phone calls. Remember the game and fish agencies I wrote about in an early-July Delta Farm Press?

Believe me, most of us have 80 percent of the stuff we will need to hunt somewhere else. And if you have enough coins and connections, all you will need are your personal items and firearm.

I suppose my travels to Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Wyoming have occurred in the first half of October. Best thing to do is buddy up with someone or three more, to people to a vehicle, and just say this is the year, let's go! I promise you, you will have a simply great time.

The other half of harvest season will be the actual part of being in all your fields. This will be the time to notice wildlife movement.

Up 'til then, corn, milo and, to some extent, soybeans have hidden what's in your fields. Early morning travels along with late-evening movements can now be a little more easily noticed.

Natural food sources such as persimmons are now more noticeable. I must now admit that I have never, ever shot a deer near a persimmon tree, although many a person will, I reckon, swear by this commonly occurring tree and its fruit.

Sometimes I wonder if this is an old adage of simply “climbing a tree to tell a lie instead of standing on the ground to tell the truth.”

Be that as it may, notice the oaks and pecans on turnrows and other areas.

The other half of our year, hunting season, will be here before we know it. I mention this today more so along the lines of supplies. Ammunition is at an all time high and is scarce. If you have some exotic caliber rifle, you better start hunting ammunition now.

I was in a larger retail sporting goods store July 22. A box of Remington core loc 150 grain 30-06 was $24. Many boxes of “light-magnum” and “short-magnum” were near $40.

Those of us “rolling our own” are finding primers extremely hard to find. I don't know if this is a “supply and demand” thing due to last fall's election or the war effort, but if you've been on the farm too long, you might want to clean up and go to town.

The same goes for rifles and shotguns. If you were planning to replace “Ol' Betsy” with a newer synthetic stocked heavy-duty all-purpose short magnum, better put your order in. Scopes and binoculars seem to be readily had. This might be the year to upgrade to newer and far superior glass. Again, I'm telling you, if you ever look through some really good scopes and binoculars, you will be amazed.

Some of us at the Sicily Island Agriculture & Mechanical Coffee Shop are shooting milk jugs at 800 and 1,000 yards. In most weapon systems the scope costs more than the rifle. On my personal rig, the scope cost over twice what I've got in the rifle.

OK, let's get geared up for this year's hunting season and enjoy ourselves.

If you get a chance, take a kid hunting or fishing. For that matter, take anyone. One doesn't have to kill to enjoy the outdoors. Some of the best friends and meals are made “at the camp.”

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