Wisdom of the Woods (9/11/2014)
With the approach of the fall hunting seasons, the weather has done a good thing for anyone who enjoys outdoor activity. There are plenty of hunting seasons open and more to open in the near future.
In our neighborhood there are some hunters who chose not to wait for the legal seasons and bag their deer before season. Some just take the choice cuts from a deer and leave the rest for coyotes, while others just leave a carcass where it lies and drive away. Two game wardens to take care of the enforcement of the hunting laws are not enough to enforce the conservation laws in any county in the state.
We had a case in the neighborhood early this summer where a Border Collie female who had pups came out of the woods followed by a deer fawn. The afternoon before, there were deer dogs running in the woods and shots were heard. When the deer followed the dog to her home, the landowner pulled lots of ticks off of the animal and bottle fed it to keep it alive. The Collie adopted it and the deer was growing on her milk. It had the run of the place and always showed up in the morning for feeding time. One morning it didn’t show up and her benefactor went out looking for her and found her lying dead with the Collie laying on top of her in an effort to protect her. Injuries showed the fawn was killed by some type of large cat. The Collie had deep scratches like she had tried to defend the deer before the cat was ultimately treed by the neighbor’s dogs.
Now that the weather has cooled, the fishing has improved. Dale Barks came by the house and said that a lot of fish in his lake were caught the day before and was glad that they were caught; he said that he spent $30 a month for fish food.
Reports from lake fishermen were to the effect that the fishing had improved as well.
Squirrel hunting has slowed down a little as the hickory nuts have just about been cleaned out of the trees and the acorns do not seem to be ripe enough for the squirrels. Also, it could be a case where the crazy spring got the acorn bloom and there isn’t a very good crop of acorns. I have a few oaks that are usually good feeding trees but so far there hasn’t been much cutting around these trees.
I hope that the White oak trees produced some good acorns as these acorns ripen a little later in the fall.
With archery season just around the corner, bow hunters are preparing for the season opener September 15.
The Current River Smallmouth Assn. has two more events on their schedule this summer. The next event is September 27, fished from the Doniphan launch. Their Classic will be October 11, fished from Van Buren.
There is a UKC coon hound event on September 20 at Ravenden Spring, Ark. Missouri events are at Patton, September 12-13 with separate events each night. September 27 there is a show and hunt at Caulfield near West Plains.
I received a phone call the other night asking me if I knew anything about the swamp rabbit population in southeast Missouri. I answered as best I could as the swamp rabbit population in the area is not too big. I told him that there are a few places along Black River in the southern part of Butler County, Mingo, and Duck Creek but beyond that there wasn’t much that I could tell him.
Dove season opened without much fanfare or firepower on September 1 as there has been very little combining of corn and chopping up of the watermelon patches. Around Qulin there were some fields that looked like they might be ready for harvest in the next few days. With colder weather coming into the area, more doves should be showing up, making for better hunting.
I am working on a re-write of the story of the biggest fish taken out of Black River a long time ago: a 135 lb., 6 ½ foot-long Alligator Gar.