Time to prepare for fall hunting

Well, here we are in July! At my place, rainfall has been plentiful, which should be good for most of our fruit-producing plants β€” commercial row crops, trees (nuts) and other plants that help fish and wildlife maintain their numbers.

We should have sunflowers well along the way by now. Watch for excess grass in these plots. A dove likes to land in a relatively clean place on the ground.

Now is the time to start buying up shotgun shells. My approach is to buy a couple of boxes here and there so as not to hurt my pocketbook as bad. Those who still reload should check out their gauge supplies, wads, etc.

Deer and duck hunters in particular should have lease specifications pretty well in hand by now. If you are hunting on an existing lease, by all means pay attention to your food plots. More than likely they are grown up by now. A close bush-hogging will help a disk get enough loose dirt to cover a seed.

Once we start on this record harvest season, we probably won't have a really free weekend to go to our camps until squirrel season. I'm planning on a really good hunting season this year.

Here in Louisiana, all our hunting and fishing licenses expired June 30. Don't go fishing without purchasing a 2007-08 license.

Remember the basics for a fishing outing. The proper license, a serviceable lifejacket, a fire extinguisher where applicable, and a current boat registration should keep most game wardens off of you. A flashlight, a cell phone, and an extra for the boat trailer would just about guarantee a safe return home.

Start making arrangements for deer corn now. I'd be scared to say what supply and demand and dollar marks will do to someone wanting a barrel of corn every now and then. Putting out salt blocks again won't hurt a thing. A plain red (trace mineral) cow salt block will do fine.

Get your rifle and shotgun out. Did they perform as expected last year? Do they need cleaning? I have been shooting two new rifles for a month β€” two shots a day when I get to shoot. One rifle is inside a piece of ordinary typing paper at a quarter of a mile (4-inch group). The other rifle is making me adjust the scope ever so slightly. I'm getting' ready.

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

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