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Into The Outdoors: Good Things About September

Well, to the joy of some and the dismay of others, September is here. For folks who like fall and winter, it’s like May is to spring and summer lovers like me. For students and teachers, it’s back to school while it still seems like summer. Before we let depression sink in, let’s look at some good things about the month, from the perspective of outdoor activities.

Some really fine fishing opportunities exist in September. This is what I have found to be the best month for charter fishing on the Great Lakes. I think that the two most targeted species are salmon and perch, although charters are available for other species as well.These charters are usually booked well in advance, but captains do get cancellations.

Of course, you don’t have to travel that far to get some good fishing. If you have a favorite panfish hole, this is a good time to visit it. The same goes for rivers.

This leads to a certain amount of speculation as to why fish go on an autumn feeding spree. There are a few theories out there. One is the myth that members of the pike (esox) family lose their teeth during August, and are ravenous when they grow back. Another theory, which I find plausible, is that changing water temperatures and shorter periods of sunlight trigger the response.Of course, some species of fish feed actively during the winter. Don’t overthink it, and just enjoy it.

Hunting comes into the September picture as well. Squirrel season opens on the 9th, which is this Saturday. I suspect that the hunting would be rather difficult, due to the abundance of foliage still there. I haven’t yet decided whether or not to attempt it, as October has always been my traditional squirrel hunting month.

Dove hunting also comes in this month. If you are going to hunt these birds, and are not a really great shot, you had better be prepared to go through a lot of ammo, and develop the ability to laugh at yourself. These fast flyers are so easy to miss. When I was in college, I had a buddy whose family owned a farm. Dove hunting was his favorite form of the sport, and I had an open invitation to hunt with him. He was very good at it, and even had a dog to retrieve the birds. About the only thing worth saving on a dove is the breast. On occasion, my buddy’s mother would cook some up for us. She had a wine sauce of her own concoction. She would bake the dove breasts in it, and they were nothing short of delicious. It has been fifty years or so since I had them, but I still remember the delicate, sweet taste.

Archery season for deer season comes in at the end of the month. Over the years, I tried my hand at archery a number of times, but I never got proficient enough to actually hunt deer. It’s just a talent that I never have, and never will, possess.

Although there are rumors floating around, the fact of the matter is that antler restrictions still apply to senior hunters. This has always seemed grossly unfair to me. A kid without a license can shoot any buck, while someone who has paid for a license for many years, cannot. As we age, our senses, including our eyesight, are not usually as sharp as they once were, while a kid’s senses are in their prime. There is just something wrong with this picture.

Well, I hope this column will shed some positive light on dour September.


Chris Henderson email:

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