Wisdom of the Woods (10/2/2014)
Paul Woods on the back of his truck with rabbits from a hunt with Leroy Romine. One of the pictured swamp rabbits was used for a display at the Poplar Bluff Museum.
With fall comes the exodus of the hummingbirds. There are still a few of the little rascals around our feeders. My wife had 19 feeders in use at one time this summer and had to refill almost every one daily. When the first bit of cold weather hit our area a few weeks ago, a lot of the birds disappeared. We took about a dozen feeders down.
This week the weather got warm and lots of the birds reappeared. They were probably the ones traveling through on their way back to the winter headquarters and with warmer temperatures and plenty of good food available, decided to stay until it gets cold again. In all probability the next bit of colder weather will send the balance of them on their way until they see us again next April.
It’s about time to get the feeders for the other birds that will be arriving soon. We have many species of birds that spend a lot of their time around the house as we put out a good mixture of seed and suet.
Feeding the birds is sometimes expensive but the reward of seeing so many different species of birds makes it worth the cost.
Another tragedy of people not being careful enough on an outdoor activity happened when a gigger drowned in Current River. That is one river in particular that is dangerous unless you know the river, as it is treacherous in many locations.
I pride myself on knowing Black River but the last time I fished the river with John Uebelein, I found out real quick that I didn’t recognize where I have fished for many years. Being away from the river like I have been has caused many changes I was unaware of. Some places where it used to be deep have filled in and the opposite isn’t true. The shallow places have gotten even shallower.
Float fishing on the Black and Current rivers can be rewarding in the fall of the year. The leaves have just begun to change colors and in a short time, floaters can fish and hunt along the river. Squirrels can be found in good numbers, fishing is good and ducks will be legal game later this month.
About the biggest outdoor activities at this time of year are wild turkey shotgun season, deer and turkey archery, and competition coon hunting.
The fall firearms turkey season opened October 1 as did the rabbit season. Very few hunters pursue the rabbits until the frost knocks down some of the weeds and grass.
Turkey hunting in the fall is a lot different from the spring season. Finding the flock is the biggest way to success by scattering them and then calling them back together. Most hunters know where a flock of turkeys is and try to scatter them while they are feeding by making noise to flush and scatter them.
When the hen decides the danger is over, she will call the flock back to that area. The shooting isn’t fast action because you can get the birds in close but one shot can fill your day’s limit.
UKC wild coon hunt competition has a show and hunt about every weekend in October in our area. October 3, Patton has a show at 7 p.m. and a hunt at 8:30.
The Arkansas Youth Championship is October 4 at Walnut Ridge. The show is at 3 p.m. and the hunt is at 7. There is no entry fee and the hunt is 1.5 hours.
October 10, the Butler County Coon Hunters Club at Poplar Bluff has a show at 6 p.m. and the hunt begins at 7:30.
October 11, the Razorbacks club at Knobel has a show at 5:30 p.m., and their hunt starts at 7.
Wappapello Lake fishing should be getting good. If you have the time to crappie fish, check with the Corps of Engineers office to get a copy of the map where the fish shelters are located. Fish around those shelters and you just might have a good day of fishing and catching.
Bass also like to hang out around those shelters and you might also find bass in Asher, Milan, and Lost Creek. Fish the banks of those creeks with top-water plugs and you might land the big one.